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Aug 20, 2021

At Least 19 Healthcare Workers Test Positive in the West

Health personnel who work at several departments at the San Ignacio Community Hospital are in isolation after they tested positive for COVID-19 this week. There is a possibility that the number could rise because of the nature of their work and the persons they may have interacted with before the detection was made. Four of the nineteen persons also visited Guerra’s Polyclinic in Benque Viejo to work hence the Ministry of Health and Wellness has sanitized both facilities.  As a result of the cluster, some services offered at the San Ignacio Hospital have been temporarily suspended until the employees test negative and are back on the job.  News Five spoke this afternoon with Deputy Director of Health Services Doctor Francis Morey, who explained how far-reaching this cluster may have potentially spread.


Voice of: Dr. Francis Morey, Deputy DHS, Ministry of Health & Wellness

“We have laboratory technicians, we have the pharmacist, persons from the x-ray department, we have medical officers, nurses and persons who work with the HIV program. So, these persons, per se, are out also working in the field giving support to the vaccination program, seeing patients in the outpatient department, also having contact with the community at large, also working in the COVID area, so there are multiple areas, and even when they go back home, they also have certain part of community involvement because they need to go to the stores, market, etc. So a clear definition as to what – where that contact may have been or how it was brought in to the facility is still being discussed. It also includes four persons from the Benque Polyclinic, so that in itself is reflected within the number of tests done within that facility.”


Marion Ali

“Can you say when the detection was made?”


Voice of: Dr. Francis Morey

“My desk was alerted of this on Tuesday evening and I believe somewhere around late Monday, the early part of Tuesday there was already five persons, sorry, four persons had already tested positive.”


Marion Ali

“Do you project that this will turn out to be a much larger – maybe an outbreak in the coming days?”


Voice of: Dr. Francis Morey

“Well, the possibility that we may have a larger number is there. I mean, we’re talking about the hospital per se, is a community. It’s an area where you have multiple persons having contact with various individuals from the community.   We’re awaiting a further report as to who all may have been exposed and to what level.”


The ministry announces that the services at the San Ignacio Hospital which have been temporarily interrupted include the lab, pharmacy, and x-ray units. Where possible, these services will be offered on a per need basis.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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