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Health Facilities Overwhelmed As COVID-19 Cases Rise – Practitioners

27 July 2021

Health practitioners have urged the government to consider establishing makeshift health centres for COVID-19 admissions as the country's health institutions are overwhelmed with severe cases needing hospitalisation. For over a month, Zimbabwe has been grappling with the third wave of the coronavirus that saw authorities imposing a stricter level four lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. The government is set to review the lockdown measures this Tuesday and will possibly extend it as cases have not subsided since the imposition of the lockdown. However, there were decreases in both new infections and deaths recorded over the weekend. Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association president Johannes Marisa said an alternative plan was needed to ensure that patients do not succumb to the virus due to failure to access medical care. He said due to the likely continued requirement for hospital admission for severe cases, more intensive care support was needed, including the erection of temporary health centres. Marisa said:
The vaccination rollout programme is vital for us to win the battle against the virus. Government is working towards ensuring that we achieve herd immunity by October this year and it is commendable.
He added that the vaccination exercise, due to complacency, is ineffective to combat the spread of the virus when we have not yet reached herd immunity. Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive officer Solwayo Ngwenya warned that reckless citizens were putting health workers' lives at risk. Ngwenya said:
Life is increasingly difficult for us. All the extreme complacency ends up in our hands and endangering our lives and our families. The public is putting health workers at risk.
Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights secretary Norman Matara said the government should urgently equip health institutions, especially district hospitals, considering that rural areas have now become COVID-19 hotspots. Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo reiterated that health facilities were overwhelmed adding said that health institutions in the country are handling many cases which means there are more new infections than recoveries. Meanwhile, the government is pushing the vaccination programme that is premised on reducing infections, a situation that will see the nation returning to normalcy. More: Pindula News; NewsDay