Preparations for turning a section of Parirenyatwa Hospital into a Covid-19 isolation and testing centre are at an advanced stage, this was revealed by Minster of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo during a tour of the facility.
As the country is decentralising testing of Covid-19 to Provincial and District Hospitals as well as clinics, Dr Moyo said he was invited by the hospital’s management to see where they want to situate the Covid-19 isolation centre.
“I was invited by Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals management to come and see their plan of converting the institution into a Covid-19 isolation centre,” said Dr Moyo in an interview after touring the facility.
Minister Moyo pointed out that the exercise was a country wide and some were currently doing with makeshift structures for the time being as renovations were being done.
“This is happening countrywide . . .some have come up with makeshift arrangements,” commented Minister Moyo.
Concerns had been raised in the past about personal protection equipment (PPEs) and Dr Moyo assured them that frontline health care staff should be issued with PPEs so that no staff member is lost to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We don’t want to lose any one among our staff. . . we are making sure that we have adequate PPEs,” said Dr Moyo.
For funding, Dr Moyo pointed out that there were adequate funds set aside for this exercise thus allaying fears of running short of working capital in the midst of the project.
“The budget is there the Ministry has been given adequate funds”
In terms of the time lines of completing the renovations and sealing off the isolation section, the Minister said he was assured by engineers that it will be complete in a week’s time.
“In seven days they should be done,” said the Minister.
Minister Moyo said the private sector had been taken on board for widespread testing and that they had advised them to use the PCR machine for accurate results.
“We have said the private laboratories can test using PCR not rapid test kits, if they get any positive case they should notify us for inclusion on national statistics,” said Dr Moyo.
Parirenyatwa Hospital will continue to treat other patients as the renovations will demarcate it into red and green areas, the red being the one for Covid-19 patients and the green one would serve general patients. The Covid-19 section will have 425 beds with 27 of them being Intensive Care Unit ones as well as a theatre. During the tour, some sections were already being renovated.