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COVID -19 surge overwhelms Sir Ketumile Hospital

COVID -19 surge overwhelms Sir Ketumile Hospital
Sir Ketumile Teaching Hospital

Sir Ketumile Masire, a Teaching hospital with 450 beds was this week reported to be struggling to cope with a record spike in covid 19 patients.

This week, 1445 new infections and 14 Covid related deaths were recorded in four days.

Confirming that the hospital was overwhelmed, SKMTH Communication and Public Relations Manager, Thato Moruti said despite the situation, all stakeholders must be assured that their processes are designed to ensure that all their patients are safe.

“We admit patients based on the planned number of ward space available. The facility has wards of various capacities and each ward has never been utilised beyond its planned carrying volume. We do note and confirm that the hospital does have patients admitted in the same ward and these are considered a cohort. This is because the patients are all in an acute phase due to their positive status. It has been established that there is no possibility of re-infection within the same cohort,” said Moruti

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To date, he said, the Hospital admits patients based on referral criteria and on the planned number of ward space available to accommodate patients.

He said due to the mental and social strain of COVID-19 on frontline Health Care Workers (HCW), the hospital continues to provide psychosocial support to all through the on-site Wellness Centre.

Moruti would however not reveal the number of patients admitted at Sir Ketumile, arguing that such information could only be revealed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Meanwhile, some patients recovering at Sir Ketumile Masire (SKMTH) have raised concerns and indicated that there was negligence, which might be contributing to the high mortality rate.

“There is no care here. Some people die because of negligence. You can spend three hours without a nurse checking on patients and if one has a respiratory attack, you are on your own. We are too crowded inwards using one bathroom and toilet and they are not disinfected. Patients who feel better than others take it upon themselves to clean the toilets,” said the patient who was admitted for three weeks.

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Expressing fears of re-infections, the patient also highlighted that when a patient dies, beds are not disinfected before they are allocated to new patients.

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