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Parirenyatwa braces for serious patient influx

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PARIRENYATWA Group of Hospitals in Harare is readying for a potential influx of Covid-19 patients, with the medical institution cancelling all elective surgical operations and discharging most patients, amid fears of a third wave.

BRIDGET MANANAVIRE

The move is supposed to create more Covid-19 beds by repurposing the wards to the Covid-19 zone.

The hospital had reduced beds after coronavirus cases declined.  Parirenyatwa hospital administration said there was a need to create more room as there has been seen a sharp increase in the number of positive patients being admitted to the Covid-19 unit.

“We need to reclaim back the Covid zone to admit the increasing numbers of patients. In order to clear the wards in preparation for merging of wards, the following measures will be taken,” the hospital clinical director, Tsitsi Magure, said in a internal circular to health professionals.

“All firms are encouraged to discharge as many patients as possible. OPD (Outpatients department) clinics will remain open for review of chronic patients. With effect from Monday 28 June, there will be no elective lists, only daily emergency lists and trauma lists will be scheduled to operate all patients in the wards in preparation for discharge. The department of anaesthetics and critical care will share with you the theatre schedules.”

Only emergency cases will be admitted to Parirenyatwa, according to the memo.

Elective surgeries are those that can be planned for weeks or months in advance like fibroid removal, prostate operations and the removal of metal plates in fractures.

The ones that cannot be postponed include cases involving cancer, immediately recent injuries like road traffic accidents or appendicitis. The emergencies are those that are life threatening.

Some of the cases that will be considered for discharge are patients on day two after giving birth through caesarean section who under normal circumstances would stay in hospital for about four days and diabetics whose blood sugar level has gone down, among others.

Magure said while they keep monitoring the situation, other sensitive area such as kidney dialysis and radio-oncology would remain open.

“All firms on call to provide adequate and timeous coverage of casualty to minimise patient waiting times and decongest casualty as fast as possible.  Other time sensitive areas like radio-oncology, dialysis unit will continue to offer services under very strict control measures. Private wards will continue to function as usual,” she said.

Zimbabwe had, as of 23 June, recorded 43 480 cumulative cases and 1 692 deaths.

The government has announced localised lockdowns in several districts and towns across the country.

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