Zimbabwe: Renovated Wilkins Hospital Reopens With New Beds for 60 COVID-19 Patients

The renovated Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital reopened this week and can now admit at least 60 COVID-19 patients with 10 beds designated for the facility's Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Harare City Council Health Services Director Prosper Chonzi has confirmed.

Before renovations, the hospital could only accommodate 35 Covid-19 patients and questions were being raised over the medical facility's ill-preparedness to handle coronavirus treatment.

Briefing the media Thursday after showing Harare metropolitan minister Oliver Chidawu the renovated wards, Chonzi said the council run hospital was not 100 percent ready for coronavirus treatment, but was now better equipped to handle patients.

"We are now able to manage some of the critically ill patients although we are not 100 percent there. We can at least provide ventilators to some patients," Chonzi said.

"We have no issues with admitting stable patients. They can be admitted anytime. Those that need oxygen we can also manage. We are happy now that we have proper ICU beds and proper state of the art ventilators not in the numbers that we would want but at least we can save some lives now," Chonzi said.

"We can comfortably take 10 patients into the critical care the rest of the 60 beds would accommodate stable and moderate patients."

He said there was only one patient currently admitted at the hospital and in isolation. The patient had travelled on a cruise ship and was waiting for his results.

Chidawu said government was happy with the renovations carried out at the hospital and that it was now ready to handle COVID-19 patients.

"A lot of work has been done now and we have gone round and I think we are now ready to handle Covid-19 patients that's what they are advising us."

Zimbabwe has 11 confirmed coronavirus cases and three deaths. Two of the patients including journalist, Zororo Makamba, died at Wilkins Hospital and one at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.

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