By PETER WARI
THE Mt Hagen Provincial Hospital is under stress and likely to scale down services after more than 70 of its frontline health workers were isolated at the Covid-19 isolation centre.
The hospital had scaled down much of its operations three weeks ago.
Director for medical services Dr Jonah Kuripi said, by the end of this month, more of the workers would be infected if they did not receive the vaccines immediately as the hospital did not have the capacity to manage a large number of patients.
He said of the 70-plus health workers isolated, 23 had recovered and were back at work while the rest were still under isolation.
“We have registered over 600 positive Covid-19 cases and the trend is increasing and we have a surge,” he said.
“Sadly, we lost nine patients at the isolation ward.
“We have managed the situation over the last two weeks but cannot continue and we need more resources and support as there are more patients to come.”
Dr Kuripi said the majority of people in Mt Hagen continued to disregard basic health measures like mask-wearing, social distancing and hand sanitising.
He said one of the reasons for this was simple economics: the people had no other means to support themselves and needed to carry out their daily activities amid the risk of the Covid-19.
Dr Kuripi said that it would also mean more would be at risk of being infected and this would put more pressure on the hospita’s capacity.
He said the province was waiting for the delivery of 600 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for its frontline health workers.
By PETER WARI