Dr Eric Wedam, the Acting Medical Superintendent of the War Memorial Hospital in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region, says the facility is in full operation and not closed down.
“It is not true that the facility is closed down, this is not the first facility to record COVID-19, and it is normal that if there is a COVID-19 case in a ward, the ward is closed down, fumigation is done and staff screened.
“Even patients, who were there when the COVID-19 case passed through the ward, are screened. So it is normal for an affected ward to be shut down,” he said. The Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the hospital following information among some members of the public that the hospital was closed down after about 15 nurses tested positive and one died of COVID-19.
Dr Wedam who was preparing for an operation in the theatre as at 0930hours when the GNA visited, emphasized that “This facility has never been closed down. In fact we had some officials from the Regional Health Directorate who visited to confirm news circulating that the facility is closed down.”
He said it was only the Paediatric Unit of the hospital that was closed down, “This does not mean the entire facility was closed down,” and further explained that the nurse who passed on was a staff of the Unit.
Even though the Acting Medical Superintendent did not disclose the number of staff who came in contact with their infected colleagues and were in isolation, he indicated that the number of staff had reduced, but health delivery was ongoing smoothly.
Asked if management intended to reduce admissions, after some number of staff who were mostly nurses, were in isolation, he said “Because the falsehood was spread, the attendance has dramatically reduced and this has slowed down work a little.”
Dr Wedam said any patient who visited the facility was duly attended to accordingly and called on members of the public to disregard information of the closure of the facility, adding that the facility was safe for clients to seek health care services.
When the GNA toured the wards, it observed that few patients were on admission at the various wards, while pieces red cloth were tired to doors of the locked-down Paediatric Unit and some areas of the hospital to signal the death of the staff.
There was also strict adherence to the health protocols, especially the use of face masks and handwashing with soap under running water before entry, while ‘No masks, No entry’ signs were visibly displayed at all entrances.