Covid routs health centres

Covid routs health centres

MASERU-AT least 20 workers at church-run health centres in Lesotho tested positive for Covid-19 between Christmas and New Year’s Day, as the pandemic begins to wreak havoc in the country.
The clinics and hospitals are run by the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL).

The affected health centres are Scott Hospital in Morija, Tebellong Hospital in Qacha’s nek, Motsekuoa health centre in Mafeteng and Emmaus health centre also in Mafeteng.
The infections have forced the health centres to scale down operations and are now offering emergency services only in an attempt to protect both staff and clients, said CHAL acting director, Libete Selapane.

Employees who tested positive for the virus have been quarantined, while people who had contact with them are being tested, said Selapane.
“We do not want to shut down because people need our services,” he said, adding that workers were taking turns to report for work.
“Some employees can stay at home for at least a week,” Selapane said.
Everyone who enters the health centres is being screened. Those without masks are not being allowed in and washing of hands under running water with soap is mandatory, he said.

“Those showing symptoms are separated from the rest of the patients to curb the spread of the virus,” said Selapane.
He said they are also sensitizing their patients on Covid-19 prevention measures.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health Motlatsi Maqelepo said the government is aware of the increasing cases of Covid-19 cases in the country, bemoaning the lack of adherence to preventive measures such as social distancing, the washing of hands and wearing of face masks by the public.

She said he plans to ask for assistance from security forces to enforce adherence to preventive measures.
Maqelepo said Lesotho has struck a deal with the South African government for rapid tests to be conducted at ports of entry.

“What would be done on the Lesotho side would be the same with what would happen on the South African side,” he said.
For now, the two countries would start with two of the busiest border gates of Maseru and Maputsoe, before rolling out the programme to all borders.
Maqelepo said they fast-tracked this process to save lives.

Long queues characterised Maseru and Maputsoe border posts at the weekend as thousands of Basotho sought to cross into South Africa where many of them work.
Some Basotho slept at the Maseru border post because of the long queues. Others used illegal routes, sometimes with fatal consequences.
About 15 Basotho drowned in the Mohokare River as they tried to illegally cross into South Africa during the busy period.

Staff Reporter

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