Hospitals, Mortuaries Overwhelmed

Princess Marina Referral Hospital
Princess Marina Referral Hospital

With hospitals and mortuaries overwhelmed by patients and corpses respectively as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Princess Marina Referral Hospital morgue is finding itself buckling under pressure.

Acting hospital superintendent Dr Monkgogi Goepamang told The Monitor that the hospital had an overflow at the mortuary last week as the hospital has a small capacity. This came after the hospital issued a new policy which reads: “We are currently having a surge in deaths in the hospital and our mortuary is overwhelmed. It is then important to inform the relatives to arrange for the transfer of corpses 'immediately' at this time to the mortuary of choice. We are suspending our 'three-day waiting' policy indefinitely".

Life Healthcare's Gaborone Private Hospital also issued a statement that reads: "Our COVID beds and emergency isolation rooms are currently occupied. We are unable to admit or see more patients at the moment. We apologies for the inconvenience".

This has since become one of the sad realities for many Batswana. To date, the country has recorded 80,154 positive cases with 8,970 active cases. Money can no longer help even those who can afford to pay hospital bills. Already, some homes have since temporary turned into hospitals for their own family members who cannot be isolated at government isolation centres.


In an interview with The Monitor on Thursday, Goepamang said: “Currently, all the corpses have been accommodated. Our mortuary capacity only accommodates 12 people. In a week, we received a maximum of five COVID-19 related deaths. Health workers are vulnerable due to the increase of COVID-19 admissions and the high prevalence in the community. Some may be getting the virus from patients, colleagues or the community".

When briefing the nation recently, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said: “Sadly, we lost 1,253 people to the pandemic as of July 12, 2021, compared to 300 in February 2021. The situation of the pandemic will worsen before it gets better. Therefore, we must take individual and collective responsibility to protect ourselves and the entire nation from COVID-19".

Editor's Comment
Transparency Key In COVID-19 Fight

When the pandemic reached Botswana’s shores last year March, a nation united in the quest to defeat an invisible enemy. It is a moment never witnessed in recent memory, with the catastrophes of the world war and the 1918 Spanish influenza being the only other comparisons in living memory. Botswana, like the rest of the world, had to readjust its priorities and channel most, if not all, of its energies towards fighting COVID-19. It has not been...

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