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Number of COVID patients in isolation drops

Medical Superintendent of the Mafeteng Regional Hospital Dr Mahali Ntšasa

March 5, 2021 3 min read

3 min read

DESPITE the positive test results that Lesotho records on a daily basis, a medical superintendent at the Mafeteng Regional Hospital Dr Mahali Ntšasa says for the past two weeks, they did not have patients in their isolation facility.

She was speaking at the handing over ceremony of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the hospital by the Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority (LEWA) on Monday March 1.

Dr Ntšasa said they were just seeing patients who came in and left without admitting any of them.

She attributed that to the fact Basotho could be on their way to full recovery, adding that they are trying their best to adhere to safety protocols.

She said the patients they see are not likely to be infectious and therefore are unlikely to transmit the virus to other people, adding that she was hopeful the situation will remain the same throughout. 

She said between December 2020 and January, they had large referral numbers of patients who were referred to their centre because they were specifically named a COVID-19 facility by the Ministry of Health.

She noted that in February, the numbers went down, although they still expect the figures to increase during the Easter holidays, when people living and working in South Africa will be returning home in great numbers.

“It happened during the past Christmas holidays and we expect the same thing to happen even now,” she said.

Latest reports show that bed occupancy rates and deaths in most local hospitals have also dropped significantly. However, risks of another spike remain elevated.

Transmission has transitioned to the community, and this presents a daunting challenge. Infection risks originating from cross-border travel also remain elevated on account of expected inward travel from Basotho migrants coming home for the Easter holidays.

Dr Ntšasa expressed her gratitude to the donors on behalf of the hospital, saying they see a lot of COVID-19 suspects, and as a regional hospital, they receive referrals from across the country, hence PPE will come in handy in their line of duty. “Because we see many patients at a time, sometimes we run out PPE, for instance, in the past week, we did not have safety boots,” she said.

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She appealed to individuals and companies to donate in large numbers, highlighting that there is never a time when there will be enough PPE at a health facility, especially during this kind of pandemic.

Consumer Affairs and Communications Manager at LEWA, Shao Khatala said the donations were part of the authority’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme whose current focus is on making a positive contribution in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic.

He said the authority will do more in extending a helping hand to local hospitals, teaming up to help address the shortage of medical supplies during the pandemic.

Mr Khatala said this is an unpredictable time and community effort is needed to meet the immediate needs of the frontline healthcare staff as they take care of patients.

The donation included re-usable protective suits and disposable masks. A similar donation was made at the Berea Government Hospital.

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