Port Moresby Hospitals taking caution as COVID-19 cases rise

 HOSPITALS in Port Moresby are taking measures to protect staff and patients as the city experiences a surge in the Covid-19 cases, an official says.

Following concerns over the Gerehu Hospital being closed, the National Capital District Health Authority acting chief executive officer Ken Wai said a doctor who was sick and attended to by the 18 staff of the accident and emergency and medical ward last week was later diagnosed with the Covid-19.

The 18 staff which included doctors and nurses were persons of interest, according to the World Health Organisation protocol.

“We therefore closed Gerehu Hospital on Saturday and decontaminated the whole hospital and allowed (it to dry up till Sunday),” he said. He said they were re-organising staff as the 18 affected would be in isolation for 14 days.

Operation in the hospital’s inpatient wards was suspended yesterday with the hospital’s day-services treating the severely ill and transferring them to the Port Moresby General Hospital.

“We will manage the accident and emergency on a 24-hour basis,” he said.

“In order to do this, we have to shift staff around, put the elderly and sick ones at the back and shift younger staff at the front end.”

He said there was triaging and swabbing of patients at Gerehu Hospital yesterday and would continue. A laboratory truck will be shifted there this week for the testing.

PMGH chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi said with the surge in Covid-19, surveillance and triaging protocols had been stepped up at the hospital which would affect the turnaround of patients especially in the emergency department.

“The measures are to protect fellow patients and staff,” he said.

“The public is advised to cooperate with the protocols in place rather than running to social media.”

The National / PNG Health News

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