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Wednesday, January 19, 2022
Home General 20 KHMH workers test positive for Covid-19

20 KHMH workers test positive for Covid-19

At this time, the staff infection rate is one of the main concerns for the national referral hospital 

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Jan. 5, 2022– With the global pandemic still ongoing and new variants being detected in the country, our country’s national referral hospital, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), remains in a constant state of preparedness, says its CEO, Chandra Cansino. She told local media that the hospital has been undergoing structural adjustments and has carried out a deep cleaning of the COVID-19 unit and other areas, given the decrease of Covid-19 cases following the end of the second wave of infections, which had been driven by the Delta variant — a strain of the virus that caused a high number of severe cases (requiring medical care) that at certain points were at the brink of exceeding the KHMH’s maximum capacity. At this time, staff members at the hospital are being given much-needed time off, mandated by the government, but, approximately 40 of those personnel are out on sick leave, infected or suspected to have the COVID-19 virus.

CEO Cansino said that the rate of staff infection is currently the hospital’s greatest concern. “At this time we have probably around 40 staff members that are currently being tested, some of whom are positive, and so that is a great concern for us. We have been able…we are able so far up until the results that we’ve received, we have been able to manage with the staff that we have, but of course, we are now enforcing even stricter protocols in the staff areas of the hospital,” she said.

She said that the cafeteria and other communal areas at the facility are the main locations where the spread of the virus has been taking place in the hospital. CEO Cansino said that the hospital is continuing to enforce strict protocols in those areas, including mask-wearing and social distancing.

She noted, however, “For now, most of the staff is contracting the variant, well, we assume it’s the variant, are contracting Covid, from outside of the hospital.”

The hospital, nonetheless, is preparing for the confirmation of the presence of the Omicron variant in Belize, Cansino said. Recently, the hospital received 5 new ventilators from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, but additional nurses are needed to manage the care of ventilated patients. At this time, 27 beds are in the COVID-19 unit of the hospital, but that number is augmented on a case-by-case basis.

In an interview with local media yesterday CEO Cansino clarified that 20 of those staff members has since been tested positive for COVID-19.

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