IN a bid to help the country contain the spread of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister of Health, Semano Sekatle on Thursday officially opened an oxygen plant at the Berea Government Hospital in Teyateyaneng (TY).
July 20, 2021
3 min read
Sekatle launches oxygen plant in Berea
The new oxygen plant at the Berea Government Hospital
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Launching the project, he the plant has come at an opportune time when the country has to deal with the third wave of the pandemic.
Mr Sekatle expressed concern at the rate at which the new variant of the virus is spreading across Lesotho, grateful at the funders for the timely donation.
He said they met the contractor during a desperate time when everyone was in dire need of oxygen, adding that they were at a point where they even pleaded with the government to initiate another nationwide lockdown.
“It is unfortunate that people no longer abide by the safety protocols and thus forgetting the past incidents brought about by the pandemic.”
The minister said although they are delighted to have an oxygen plant at their door step, there is, however, a need to build a much bigger plant that would meet the entire country’s oxygen demands.
Speaking at the same event, the Director General Health Services Dr ’Nyane Letsie said nurses and doctors suffer the greatest pain when they lose patients knowing that if certain protocols had been followed, such deaths would not have occurred.
She pleaded with the hospital management to ensure that wards are fitted with oxygen tanks as opposed to bringing them to the wards in case of emergencies.
Dr Letsie said clinics should be supplied with oxygen tanks as well in order to save lives at grassroots stage.
She said initially it was a major problem when the Berea hospital was identified as a centre to treat COVID-19 patients.
“But now the hospital is enjoying growth with some advanced technical developments and this implies that it is at a stage where it can engage specialists in certain medical fields.”
For his part, the Country Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Richard Banda said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a challenge to the nation, adding that one of the indicators is the increased number of hospitalised patients.
He applauded the government for the initiative especially now in the midst of the new variant that has hit the world
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The pandemic, he said needs concerted efforts, commending the hospital for a job well done after facing major frustrations when it first assumed the role of the country’s COVID-19 treatment centre.
Initially, he said everybody was anxious because they thought they were dealing with a foreign pandemic which had brought panic even to countries with the most established health care systems.
Seqhibolla Letsie from MS Brokers – the firm that built the plant saluted the government for giving them the opportunity to showcase their skills.
“Oxygen plays an important role in human life and is a sensitive component that requires high levels of hygiene at the plant in order to avoid transmitting bacteria to the patients,” he said.
According the NACOSEC July 13 updates, Lesotho has so far recorded a total of 12 151 COVID-19 positive cases, 6 601 recoveries and 338 related deaths. Metro/LeNA