Daru Hospital loses a doctor to COVID-19

Monday, 20 September  2021

A MEDICAL doctor working at Daru Hospital  in the Western Province,  has become the latest death due to COVID-19  reported in less than two weeks.

The doctor was medevacked to Port Moresby last Tuesday when she suffered severe distress  but  succumbed to the disease at the weekend.

Deputy Controller of the National Pandemic Response Dr Daoni Esorom conveyed his condolences to her immediate family and relatives as well as colleagues.

“Daru Hospital has lost three people to COVID-19 in less than two weeks.

“These are people who are still in their prime age, but that’s what COVID-19 does. Delta variant is also spreading in Western Province so unless it is proven otherwise, we can say that this is due to Delta variant because the virus spreads fast and is deadlier for those with comorbidities and the elderly.’’

Dr Daoni  has also appealed to the people throughout the country to listen and adhere to the Niupela Pasin or New Normal by hand washing, covering your coughs with your elbow (or a tissue which you must discard in a proper place) , avoiding crowds and physical distancing by 1.5 metres from the next person when you are out in public places like markets and shops.

“When you protect yourself from diseases like COVID-19 by following the health measures such as handwash, you are not only looking after  yourselves and loved ones  but also protecting the people who would look after you  if you ended up in a health facility – the health workers,’’ said Dr Daoni.

Statistics show that of the 18, 808 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, 1, 705 are health workers which is 9 per cent of the total confirmed cases.

“A number of them have also died,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Daru hospital is still open but has scaled down its operations to emergencies and COVID-19.

Chief Executive officer of Daru hospital Dr Niko Wuatai said the patient flow in the hospital has been re-arranged and wards have been prepared should the hospital get a large number of admissions.

He said Daru  was  experiencing a third wave of the pandemic and as of Tuesday,  the hospital had reported 89 positive cases over a period of two weeks.

“Of this figure, seven have been admitted in the hospital. Three are still in the hospital.

One of the admissions was a doctor who was medevacked to Port Moresby on Tuesday, but unfortunately she died.”

Dr Wuatai said Daru Hospital had reported three deaths last week, two of which were positive inpatients; one a surgical patient and the other  was a medical admission.

Dr Wuatai has   requested a clinical team from Port Moresby to be sent to Daru through the Emergency Medical Team at NCC.

 “We are monitoring the situation on the island very closely given the Independence celebration and the large number of people currently on the island,’’ he said end of last Week.

Western Province has recorded 16 deaths due to COVID-19 so far since the outbreak begun two years ago.

The total recoveries  for Western Province is 2, 565.

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