Another isolation facility for Walvis

Sister Eleanor Jansen emphasised that it's important to act fast if you have mild symptoms like coughing, a sore throat, fever, loss of taste and smell, or diarrhoea.

03 September 2020 | Health

LEANDREA LOUW

WALVIS BAY



Walvis Bay's Welwitschia Hospital has constructed a 40-bed Covid-19 isolation facility.

According to human resources manager Estelle Ackerman, the facility is an addition to the nine-bed intensive care unit (ICU) and 24-bed ward for suspected Covid-19 cases already at the hospital.

The oxygen capacity at the hospital was also increased from 100 litres to 300 litres.

“Construction started on 15 July and was completed within four weeks. The facility will open this week and will specifically treat patients who have tested positive for Covid-19.”



Features

The facility boasts an administration block, donning and doffing stations for staff, a nurses' station as well as a small area where patients can stretch their legs.

An additional 16 staff members were also recruited on six-month contracts.

Ackerman said the facility will be open to both state and private patients.

The facility will only be operational as long as Covid-19 is prevalent.

“A fraction of the costs incurred are fixed and some of the equipment inside the facility are rentals. We should really commend the Walvis Bay community for their support and for helping when needed. This facility is truly a community project,” Ackerman said.



Patient classifications

Sister Eleanor Jansen, the infection prevention and control coordinator for Covid-19 cases at the hospital, said there are mild, moderate, severe and critical patients.

“Any patient whose oxygen saturation level is below 94% is classified as a moderate patient. The new facility will cater for moderate patients who need oxygen to improve their health. As soon as the patient needs more critical care, he or she will be transferred to the Covid-19 intensive care unit, which is located next door.” According to Jansen, people usually wait until the last minute to seek medical attention when they become sick.

“This is a huge concern and we wish Namibians could realise how serious this disease is. People are afraid to be stigmatised when it comes to Covid-19, as well as being placed in isolation. In many instances, they wait until it's too late before seeking medical attention.”



'Act fast'

Jansen emphasised that it's important to act fast if you have mild symptoms like coughing, a sore throat, fever, loss of taste and smell, or diarrhoea.

“Don't say it's just flu and medicate yourself with remedies at home. We cannot mess around with Covid-19. It's a killer.

“Act as soon as you have symptoms. Covid-19 is a reality. The sooner you get medical help, the better the outcome will be.”

[email protected]

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