Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2020. 8:10 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Over the weekend, there were two reported cases of the novel coronavirus strain (COVID-19) in Mexico, putting the virus that closest it has even been to Belize. The Ministry of Health (MOH) maintains that there are no confirmed cases in Belize, even as the virus is now reported in over 58 countries worldwide but the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) is not waiting for the first confirmed in-country case to put response systems in place.
KHMH Chief Executive Officer Michelle Hoare, described to our newsroom the activities the hospital has embarked on to prepare its staff and visiting public as well as giving a brief walkthrough of the area designated for isolation in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Hoare explained that the KHMH had already been conducting upscaled surveillance for influenza because the standard flu season runs from October-March. She said that once the KHMH learned that there were cases of COVID-19 in neighboring countries, the hospital authority began reviewing procedures that had already been developed for influenza pandemic situations.
Hoare said the entire staff received training on topics such as the classification of COVID-19, the methods of transmission, the necessary safety equipment that needs to be employed while treating patients suspected of having the virus, and how to separate potential cases of COVID-19 infection from the other patients in the hospital. The hospital also secured training materials such as posters, pamphlets, and videos to share with the general public.
“So we came up with our signs for the general public. Attention to the general public as to what it is we’re looking for and in the event, any of the public believes that they fit the case definition that we have agreed on through the Ministry of Health then they would present themselves and we would initiate our response.
When it comes to operations, patients will be screened in the triage area of the hospital in the accident and emergency unit. Patients that present flu-like symptoms will be separated from the rest of the patient population, given masks, gloves, and other protective gear if necessary, and then screened for the virus.
“From there treatment is initiated…once the decision to admit these patients are made by our emergency room physicians, they will be transported to the designated isolation area which is just across from our emergency room. This area is a confined space with physical separation from the general hospital services. These persons will be managed as isolation cases within this designated isolation space.”
There will be assigned staff to work with those patients and there will be no other activity coming in or out of that space. The area has a capacity for four adult patients and two pediatric patients with the capability to ad four additional beds when the need arises.
“If we find that the KHMH will not be able to hold more than the 8 adult patients then the ministry of health will be alerted and they will need to identify a larger, more offsite area where these patients could be transported and managed.”
The latest update on COVID-19 with respect to Belize is that the MOH is closely monitoring the activities in Mexico and encouraging all Belizeans to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of flu viruses, such as regular hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes.
Аdvеrtіѕе wіth thе most visited news site in Веlіzе ~ Wе оffеr fullу сuѕtоmіzаblе аnd flехіblе dіgіtаl mаrkеtіng расkаgеѕ. Yоur соntеnt іѕ dеlіvеrеd іnѕtаntlу tо thоuѕаndѕ оf uѕеrѕ іn Веlіzе аnd аbrоаd! Соntасt uѕ аt email@example.com оr саll uѕ аt 501-601-0315.
© 2020, BreakingBelizeNews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.