By Tanaka Rwatirera CHINHOYI
The Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital (CPH) is now ready to start PCR testing for Covid 19 on patients. Acting Provincial Medical Director Dr. Gift Masoja told the Chinese medical experts’ team which had come to assess the hospital’s preparedness in fighting Covid19 that the hospital had recently trained laboratory personnel and that they were ready to start PCR testing.
“The CPH laboratory is now able to carry out PCR tests with the Gene X-pert machine and the laboratory services include making PCR tests for all health workers, PCR tests for all in- patients, rapid tests for returnees on day 1 in quarantine centers, PCR tests on day 7, 14, 21 for returnees in quarantine centres, and rapid tests for non- health care workers,” he said.
Up to date, 5 people have tested PCR positive in Mashonaland West province and recorded only one death and a cumulative figure of 98 631 people have been screened countrywide.
Dr. Masoja said that the setting up of the testing laboratory at the hospital is at an advanced stage as people now have no need to go to Harare for their PCR tests if they are suspected of the being infected by the coronavirus and it is also a strategy to cut transport costs.
He said the hospital aims to become a state of the art facility where complicated cases are handled and would also decongest Harare, where everyone is going for testing. The hospital has also undertaken specialized training for health workers especially doctors and nurses.
In the fight against the pandemic in the province Dr. Masoja said that the provincial hospital does not have enough test kits and they also lacked oxygen supply in all the identified isolation facilities. The malaria outbreak in all districts was also posing competition to covid 19 mitigation.
The Chinese medical experts said it was important that these challenges are sorted out to save lives. To date, Mashonaland West has identified a total of 612 suspected cases and a total of 96 cases have been recorded positive from Rapid Diagnostic Tests and only 5 have tested PCR positive and 1 death recorded.