Chilenje Hospital not closed – head doctor

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LUSAKA Chilenje Level One Hospital medical superintendent Dr Allan Musonda has clarified that the health facility is not closed.

On Sunday, it was reported that the hospital had closed after two nurses who had been attending to 19-year-old COVID-19 patient from Bauleni who has since died, contracted the virus.

But during a solidarity and sensitization tour of the hospital this morning by Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya and Local Government minister Charles Banda, Dr Allan Musonda said the hospital was still open and some patients were still admitted to the health facility.

He said the Labour ward was fully operational as well as casualty and other sections.

“The hospital is still open. 10 patients are still admitted. The Labour ward is fully functional, casualty and other sections. The only medical advice to members of the public is that we have restricted admissions of new patients. We are not closed. Just taking measures to ensure that the new patients don’t get infected,” he clarified.

Dr Musonda said the nurses that got infected were working from casualty section adding that all staff there had been tested and quarantined.

And Dr Chilufya added that 10 patients had been quarantined in the ward.

He said swabs were taken and by end of business today, the results would be ready.

Dr Chilufya added that those who would be found negative, would be discharged and allowed to be quarantined in their homes for the next two weeks.

He said it was not government policy to close a hospital but disinfect it.

Addressing health workers earlier at the health facility, Dr Chilufya said President Edgar Lungu viewed them as heroes and heroines of COVID-19.

He said while citizens were quarantined in their homes, they were at the battle front facing the pandemic to protect everyone.

“The President said you are the true patriots of the country. Government will do everything possible to ensure that you are protected,” Dr Chilufya assured the health workers.

And Banda said the country was fighting war and the health workers were doing so on behalf of citizens.

He said health workers were called front liner staff because everyone came after them in the fight for COVID-19.

Banda regretted that two nurses got infected with COVID-19 in trying to save lives but wished them well so they could go back to work again.

He encouraged the health workers not to get discouraged but soldier on.

“Don’t get discouraged. You are supposed to do this work and Government is totally with you. The President is saying how do we protect our workers? It is you he is talking about. We will do everything possible to protect you. Don’t give up. Keep going it’s your calling that you are serving,” said Banda.

Since the first case was recorded, Zambia has recorded three deaths and 61 cases of COVID-19.

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