MEASURES in place to ensure that the there are free beds at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital in the event that patients who test positive for the coronavirus have to be admitted, has seen a drastic reduction in the daily number of walk-in patients.
Apart from temporary suspending elective or non-malignant referrals from other district hospitals, as well as introducing a numbering system to address the issue of overcrowding in hallways, more patients are reportedly now making use of clinics for their ailments.
Medical procedures that are not life threatening have also been pushed to later dates to ensure that the hospital keeps free beds during the state of emergency.
The hospital’s acting superintended, Dr. Korbinian Amutenya, said the new method of issuing numbers to walk-in patients ensures that there aren’t too many patients at once inside the hospital.
“The hospital is the place of the sick and one can’t prevent people from coming to get treatment, as a result we are putting them in lines and observing social distancing guidelines,” said Amutenya.
Amutenya pointed out that the issuing of numbers makes it easy to control the movements of patients getting in and out of the hospital and creates an algorithm of who gets assisted first.
He further noted that Primary Health Care activities will be done outside the hospital to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 by limiting the people in one place.
Amutenya noted that per day, the hospital now treats between 1 500 to 2 500 patients, which is less than the number of walk-in patients that were treated before the state of emergency on the COVID-19.
A decrease of hospital admissions at the largest state hospital in the north has also been reported.
“The hospital has a bed capacity of 750, but as of today we only have 425 admitted patients. We are happy that the number is going down now because of the measures we have taken,” added Amutenya.
Amutenya noted that the only weapon Namibia has to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to take action while there is time and urged people to stay home, wash their hands with soaps every day and to avoid large gathering.