SENIOR resident medical officers (SRMOs) at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals have downed their tools with immediate effect after a number of their colleagues in the profession tested positive for the coronavirus.
The professionals include obstetrics and gynaecologists.
They have since recommended that the hospital’s Mbuya Nehanda Maternity wing be disinfected as a matter of urgency.
The decision to down tools by the specialist doctors comes weeks after eight babies who needed urgent assistance died because of lack of proper care due to understaffing as nurses are on strike to press for better remuneration and personal protective equipment (PPE).
In a letter to the hospital management, the specialist doctors said the decision to stop offering their services was in the best interest of patients.
“A considerable number of the SRMOs have tested positive for SARS-COVID-19 and a sizeable number of SRMOs are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and await to be tested. In the best interest of other health workers and patients, we have found it best that we self-isolate at home while Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital is disinfected,” the notice read.
“Those who tested positive will be in quarantine as per national guidelines. Those who are symptomatic will self-isolate until they are cleared. Providing service while symptomatic and without proper PPE puts patients and other health workers at risk of contracting the highly contagious pathogen.
“We kindly implore your office that you organise that all patients that will be admitted in hospital be tested for COVID-19. Those who test positive will have to be managed in the Red Zone.”
They said the action they took would go a long way towards reducing the spread of the disease.
Last month, senior hospital doctors downed tools countrywide after government insisted it could not meet their demand to be paid in US dollars during the current inflationary environment.
Nurses countrywide have also been on strike for more than two months with no solution in sight.