THE opening of the new isolation and TB ward at Gizo Hospital in Western Province is timely and vital in preparing for any intrusion of COVID-19 at the western border.
Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr Culwick Togamana highlighted this on Tuesday when opening the newly completed ward in Gizo.
“The establishment of the isolation ward is timely and important,” he said.
Dr Togamana highlighted that the new ward marked yet another milestone in the country’s ongoing efforts to decentralize the capability not only to test but also the capacity to isolate the positive cases of COVID-19.
“The ministry recently install recently a COVID-19 testing capability which practically means anyone tested positive with COVID-19 will immediately be isolated here in Gizo to stop any further spread of the virus,’’ Dr Togamana added.
He told the gathering that the western border remains a high risk zone with possibility of an entry of COVID-19 due to increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Papua New Guinea as well as one positive case in Bougainville which is in close approximately to the border.
Dr Togamana said in dealing with COVID-19 it requires collective efforts enabled by close sector through collaboration between the ministries of health, education, police, communications, environment, infrastructure just to name a few.
He said the partnership with the provincial, national and international is important to build and strengthen the state of preparedness.
He further acknowledged the Premier of Western Province David Gina and his executive as well as Western Provincial Assembly, the Western Provincial Oversight Committee, the Provincial Police Commander and the team, Health Director of Gizo Health of Western region and everyone’s sacrifice, commitment and dedication towards ongoing COVID-19 preparedness and response effort at the western border.
With the opening of the isolation ward in Gizo, this now brings the total of isolation wards in the country to three.
Two of them are currently at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Honiara.
The minister assured there’s progress to build more isolation wards in other provinces.
He highlighted the establishment of isolation wards is part of the overall COVID-19 plans and response and preparedness from the Ministry of Medical and Health Service and the National Government to decentralize the COVID-19 preparedness to other provinces.
He thanked donors for their support towards the Covid-19 fight.
Dr Togamana assured the country his ministry and the frontline health team will continue to support all the necessary support required to the provincial health teams.
“So that together we can make sure we are all capacitated and well equipped to tackle the COVID-19 threat head on,” he said.
BY ULUTAH GINA
GIZO NEWS BUREAU