Third surge worst: Doc

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The emergency section at the Port Moresby General Hospital. – Pictures supplied
Dr Paki Molumi

THE country’s biggest hospital, which recorded four Coronavirus (Covid-19) deaths in one week, and more than 80 patients admitted, will scale down services from today, an official says.
Port Moresby General Hospital chief executive officer Dr Paki Molumi warned of a third surge in Covid-19 cases which he said was worse than the second one.
“This is the worst we have experienced,” he said.
“We will scale down non-essential services for two weeks (starting today Oct 6) to re-organise our staff and to contain the situation.
“All hospital clinical services and related services will be scaled down. Staff will be deployed to critical areas such as the Emergency Department, Medical Ward 3B, Isolation Ward and the Taurama Aquatic Centre.”
He told The National yesterday that on Monday, there were 50 Covid-19 patients admitted, adding on to the 30 admitted in the previous 24 hours.
He said by 5pm yesterday, 88 Covid-19 patients were admitted at the hospital and he expected the number to increase.
Dr Molumi said 30 hospital workers had also tested positive for the Covid-19 with mild symptoms and were placed in isolation.
He said the hospital was going through the third wave of the Covid-19 surge which was worse than the last surge.
Measures put in place to help the hospital manage the surge include:

  • PATHOLOGY services – only urgent tests such as cross-match and blood transfusion services will be maintained;
  • ALL elective surgeries are on hold indefinitely except for emergency surgeries;
  • ALL consultation will be closed except any special arrangement to review cases;
  • TB Clinics will be open as per schedule with strict compliance of the Covid-19 protocol;
  • ONLY emergency and life threatening conditions will be attended to at the Emergency Department;
  • ONLY emergency and in-patient radiology services will be maintained;
  • OTHER essential specialty services such as dental, physiotherapy, social works, Heduru Clinic, oncology, antenatal and general support services to remain open but to maintain Covid-19 protocol;
  • DISPENSING of prescription medications will be maintained with limited capacity including reducing operating hours from Monday to Friday.

Dr Molumi said all staff were expected to come to work as per the rosters including call-out to critical areas within the hospital during this period.
He urged hospital workers to get vaccinated at the vaccination sites in the hospital and other sites in the city.
The vaccination site at the hospital is for workers, patients and members of the public set up by the National Capital District Health Authority and National Control Centre. Dr Molumi again stressed that vaccination was important in addressing this surge.