The United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), the only hospital designated to admit Covid-19 patients in south-western Zimbabwe, has run out of oxygen.
UBH, which was drafted after Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital stopped taking patients, says it currently has 22 patients admitted, and some of them require oxygen to stay alive.
Speaking during a hand-over of 2,000 masks donated by the I AM Bulawayo Fighting Covid-19 Trust on Thursday, UBH acting CEO Dr Narcicious Dzvanga said:
Our major crisis at the moment is oxygen. BOC Zimbabwe Gases which supplies us are having to outsource, they’re facing all sorts of problems with ZESA.
We have a bulk tank that can take 10,000kg, but they came on Saturday and gave us 4,000kg which is already finished. Covid is about oxygen. No oxygen when you need it, count yourself dead. Once you are that sick of requiring hospitalisation, the therapy for Covid is oxygen and if it’s not there, say your prayers and have your last meal.
Dzvanga said that while UBH has the capacity for 150 beds, the Covid-19 section has just 50 beds, is reviving concerns over the country’s preparedness to deal with the virus, which had killed 917 as of 21 January 2021.
Dzvanga bemoaned delays in opening the other Covid-19 facility, Ekusileni Medical Centre in Hillside, and the lack of capacity for Thorngrove, which was heaping pressure on UBH. He added:
They keep demanding that the nurses be on site but they go there and are told to clean the place twice a day, and that is it. For some reason or another, the hospital just cannot get patients.
The reason I’m saying this is to let you know that the principal centre for Covid-19 in Bulawayo is UBH. Please redirect your efforts and make sure that the resources are going to a place that is managing Covid instead of facilities which are planning to manage it because the upsurge is already here. You just have to look at the statistics.
The report is concerning considering that UBH is one of Zimbabwe’s biggest referral hospitals.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a resurgence of the coronavirus which doctors suspect is fuelled by a new aggressive variant of the virus first detected in South Africa before the United Kingdom and Brazil also reported similar findings.
Source | ZimLive