By Michael Magoronga
About 62 health workers in Kwekwe have contracted covid-19 as the country grapples with containing the spread of the global pandemic.
This was revealed by Health and Child Care Deputy minister, Dr John Mangwiro while officially launching the Midlands vaccination programme in Kwekwe on Tuesday.
Dr Mangwiro said of the 62, 42 have since recovered and 20 were still self-isolating and not well.
He encouraged the health workers to take the vaccinated as it protects them against the dreaded pandemic.
Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, Larry Mavima was the first to receive the jab followed by a number of health workers, journalists and members of the Civil Protection Unit.
“The vaccination programme is targeting frontline workers and I encourage all of you to take the vaccine to protect yourselves. Frontlines are the main target for the first phase as they are the ones exposed to the virus,” said Dr Mangwiro.
After touring a number of isolations centres in Kwekwe and Redcliff, Dr Mangwiro expressed dismay over non-availability of oxygen at most of the facilities.
“I have noted with concern that most of these ICU units do not have oxygen for severe cases. The oxygen should be made available as soon as possible in all institution,” he said.
Dr Mangwiro however expressed satisfaction over the time taken to renovate the isolation centres.
“I am told Kwekwe has been operating without an isolation center but the pace that was taken to address the anomaly is amazing. That is why I said I should come to inspect them myself and most of them are satisfactory. If the oxygen gas is made available, they will be complete,’ he said.
Dr Mangwiro toured Bale medical facility in Redcliff which has a capacity for 35 patients as well as Torwood Hospital which also carries about 65 patients.
He also toured a ward at Kwekwe General Hospital which was recently renovated and reserved for covid-19 cases.
He said the gas that government intends to acquire from Redcliff based company, Steelmakers, should benefit the locals first.
“We are in the process of negotiating a deal with Steelmakers for the provision of medical gas and this should be able to benefit the locals first before it is taken to other parts of the country. I therefore will check with my staff after all the processes have been completed to ensure that the oxygen has been connected,” he said.
Kwekwe has been operating without an isolation centre after the only center, Mbizo 16 Clinic was condemned.
the district CPU then identified Bale Medical Centre and Torwood which were lying idle and renovated them into isolation centres.
Kwekwe City Council is also in the process of converting Garandichauya Beerhall into an infectious disease hospital. The Chronicle.