6 Goroka Hospital Staff Die of Covid-19

Six Goroka Hospital staff died of COVID and the total deaths goes up to 17- says Acting CEP. Dr Kendaura confirmed the deaths and gave an update of the situation to the  Sunday Bulletin in an exclusive  phone interview on Thursday afternoon.

He said the situation in Goroka Hospital is critical and the national government and health department have to be concerned and supportive. .

Dr Kendaura also confirmed that the Goroka Hospital CEO Dr Joe Apa has fallen ill and is in  the sick bed.

“We did a COVID test on Dr Apa which was negative so we sent the specimens to Port Moresby for further testing,” he said.

The Sunday Bulletin first called Goroka CEO Dr Apa on his mobile phone  who answered but said he was in the sick bed and to contact Dr Kendaura for an update.

Dr Kendaura said situation is critical seeing the number of patients admitted with  COVID symptoms of severe aggressive  respiratory symptoms is between 3-15 daily.

He said the current 40 bed ward for COVID patients is full as there is a daily influx of patients daily.

The Goroka hospital has engaged 53 more staff on short term and plan to recruit another 50 more to assist in the upsurge of cases, Dr Kendaura said.

He added that the Provincial Health Authority is planning to move the COVID patients from the hospital to the National Sports Institute Facilities with 100 beds to treat cases of mild to moderate COVID patients and to stabilize their conditions.

Dr Kendaura said  the symptoms reported at Goroka have more features of the Delta Strain where patients have been diagnosed with severe respiratory tracts, coughing and shortness of breath with 30 breaths per minute and oxygen saturation drops to 75 percent.

“Patients from all age groups are coming in for treatment, babies, 13- to 19-year-old, 20 to 30 years and the elderly. We have very limited staff and greater need for oxygen cylinders. We had 67 cylinders initially however our hospital friends  from the SDA volunteers  and other organisations have assisted us with 100 more oxygen cylinders.

“Our challenges are oxygen, manpower, bed capacity, medical supplies and drugs and PPEs. We have a crisis here. The national government and health department must provide adequate funds to assist the sick here in this province., he said.

He added that there is a K60 million submission by the Governor of Eastern Highlands to NEC for funding to assist the COVID crisis there.

Dr Kendaura said he is hoping the government supports the submission and assist with funding. He also called for the people to get vaccinated to avoid COVID infection.

Meanwhile reliable sources at Goroka confirmed that business houses such as shops, hotels and supermarkets are in operation, however the famous Goroka market is closed. 

“Its business as usual but the market is closed, Goroka town is not so busy. There is a daily curfew from 5pm to 5am,” the source said.

Source: Sunday Bulletin 

Next: Papua New Guinea Public Servants told to get vaccinated

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