Covid-19 crisis at hospital

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Dr Paki Molumi

THE Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) is facing a Covid-19 crisis with more people testing positive daily and more than 100 workers in isolation, an official says.
Hospital chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi said six to eight Covid-19 cases were coming to the emergency department daily.
The 18-bed Covid-19 isolation ward was full and two women with Covid-19 were in labour.
He said the hospital saw a surge in cases in the past 15 days with more than 200 cases recorded.
“Of the tests we did, we had a positivity rate of 41 per cent including staff, patients and guardians,” he said. “We have 115 of our staff down with the Covid-19 who have been isolated.”
He said the holding bays in wards were being used to accommodate patients while waiting for beds in the isolation ward.
Last week, a 56-bed ward was also opened.
“There are more than 30 Covid-19 patients at PMGH.
“We were hoping to offload (some) to Rita Flynn but the 43 beds there are full as well.
“So hopefully by the weekend, the Taurama Aquatic Centre will be opened so that PMGH can be freed up.”
He said the hospital needed to take care too of those suffering from other ailments such as tuberculosis and malaria.
“If we don’t treat these diseases we creating another comorbidity for the virus to attack them quickly,” he said.
“When we started our Covid-19 preparedness last year, we set up a lot of processes, different infection protection measures with the support of our development partners.
“We thought we were prepared until the surge. A good number of those staff acquired the infection from their communities and spread to the others in the hospital.
“This indicates that there is already widespread community transmission around the city and country (because) two of our staff came from outside the NCD.”