Labasa Hospital Covid-19 Admissions Up, Patients All Stable

Some staff members test positive for virus, but plans in place to help counter this.
05 Jan 2022 12:38
Labasa Hospital Covid-19 Admissions Up, Patients All Stable
Labasa Divisional Hospital is currently coping with COVID positive staffs and more efforts are being made to manage the hospital situation where COVID-19 patients are admitted. Photo: Sampras Anand.

The Labasa Hospital has seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 positive admissions.

According to a statement released by the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong, on Monday, the hospital had 21 patients admitted after testing positive for COVID-19.

Last week, they had 11 positive admissions of which one was on oxygen support, while the remaining 10 tested positive during their routine screening process.

Labasa Hospital, Acting Medical Superintendent, Dr Mua Mikaele, said despite the increase in case numbers, all patients remained in a stable health. Dr Mikaele said the person who was on oxygen support previously, had recovered, however, that person was still admitted at the premises.

While responding to rumours, he confirmed a baby had died on Sunday, however, the death was not COVID-related.

“From what I gathered, the baby had tested negative for COVID prior to the death,” he said.

Dr Mikaele emphasised that with the confirmation of the Omicron variant along with the Delta variant now prevalent in our communities, people needed to treat COVID-safe protocols as a lifesaving decision.

“So basically, if anyone is coughing, having running nose, fever, or showing signs related to COVID-19, please do the right thing and isolate yourselves from vulnerable individuals and family members,” he added.


Hospital continues with operations despite staff testing positive

The hospital is continuing to provide COVID-19 support to its patients despite having some of their health staff testing positive for the virus.

Dr Mikaele could not confirm the actual number of health staff who have contracted COVID-19, but said they were currently coping with the staff they had on the ground.

He also said efforts were being made to get additional staff who were on their annual leave.

“We continue to follow our isolation COVID-protocol for our health workers, who test positive and assess their health condition,” Dr Mikaele  said.

Dr Mikaele supported the Ministry of Health and Medical Services plans to have medical professionals return to work early once they return a negative COVID-19 test on the sixth and seventh day of their isolation period.

“We are supporting this because of our Human Resource (HR) issues, since most of our staff are testing positive, so that’s why the ministry has come up with a guideline to ensure a safe return to work for their staff,” he said.

He emphasised the COVID-guided return of their health staff would boost their ability to properly manage their hospital admissions of the positive patients and other hospital functions.


Northerners urged to treat COVID-19 seriously

Dr Mikaele said they could not force, but only encourage people to get swabbed to be sure of their medical status whether they were COVID-19 positive or not.

“However, people need to assume and treat the virus as if everyone in the Northern Division was positive now so that we gain a sense of responsibility in the daily actions we perform which will, in the end, result in a population that is COVID-mitigating,” he said.

Dr Mikaele added that individual COVID-safe protocols together with a fully vaccinated status, remains the best and the most efficient way to safeguard against COVID-19.

Individual home swab tests kits are expected to be available soon.

Once ready they can be bought at Health Ministry approved pharmacies for people who want take the tests in the comfort of their homes.



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