Covid-19 second wave cripples service delivery at BCC

The second wave of Covid-19 has since crippled the Bulawayo City Council (BCC)’s service delivery as most departments, including Public Relations have been hard-it, the mayor, Solomon Mguni, said Tuesday.

This comes at a time when the town clerk, Christopher Dube, recently tested positive for the pandemic, which has infected over 30,000 claimed more than 1,000 lives across the country to date.

Receiving a donation of beds by I am for Bulawayo fighting against Covid-19, on behalf of Mat Health and Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, in Bulawayo Tuesday Mguni said the Covid-19 pandemic had crippled the city’s service delivery.

“Today is a very different set up because our Public Relations section is incapacitated to the extent that we are not seeing the usual faces,” lamented Mguni.

“This covid-19 pandemic has even affected our service delivery. I have just mentioned one section of the city; most departments have been affected by this second wave in the sense that human capital is now incapacitated.”

He paid tribute to the donation, which he said was timely.

“We hope that with the coming together of stakeholders in Bulawayo we will be able to defeat this second wave,” said Mguni.

“2020 was not easy. I think we have travelled this journey together since sometime in March. We have been receiving assistance from all the stakeholders who have committed themselves to save during this pandemic. It would not be easy without that assistance. We need that assistance more now than we needed it in 2020.”

Meanwhile, the government has since seconded a total of 12 nurses from United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) to work at the Bulawayo City Council (BCC)-run Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital as part of measures to help the local authority manage Covid-19 infections which are on an upward trend.

The hospital, undergoing renovations, was last year designated as a Covid-19 isolation and treatment centre.

Speaking during the same occasion, BCC director for Health Services, Dr Edwin Sibanda, said the government chipped in to address the shortage of nurses in the Council-run clinic.

Zimbabwe Christian Alliance donated 10 beds and mattresses while Mat Health donated five beds to Thorngrove hospital.

“You will notice that this hospital (Thorngrove) keeps patients who amongst them rely on oxygen,” said Dr Sibanda.

“The nurses don’t have time to leave the ward, they have to be there 24/7. We had a shortage of nurses and we appealed to the government for more nurses and they heard our plea, they gave us nurses from United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH). The 12 nurses came today (Tuesday) and we are hoping that from tomorrow we will start teaching them about Covid-19 treatment”.

He said some of them would be incorporated into the Rapid Response Teams to boost their effectiveness.

Only two Covid-19 patients in stable conditions, Dr Sibanda said, were in the hospital

“In spite of the deficiencies and challenges, we started admitting patients in the isolation ward at Thorngrove as of Saturday,” explained Sibanda.

He said since the outbreak of Covid-19 last March the hospital has admitted 52 patients, three of whom succumbed to the pandemic while 49 recovered.

Dr Sibanda said the hospital was now a better recovery place for Covid-19 patients.

“We intend to tell people that they do not go to Thorngrove hospital to die,” he said.

Handing over the donation to the local authority, a representative of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, Patson Netha, said there was a need to urgently work on equipping local health facilities to ensure there are enough beds for severe cases that need admissions.

Mat Health representative, Jethro Siziba, said more assistance from the diaspora community was coming, adding they are more passionate about Thorngrove Hospital.

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)