Haiti Hospital Workers Say They Are Unprepared to Handle Coronavirus Patients

Voice of America, By Sandra Lemaire, Matiado Vilme, March 07, 2020

WASHINGTON/PORT-AU-PRINCE – Employees at the government-run General Hospital in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, fear the day when the first coronavirus patient checks in.

Dr. Jacques Mackenzie told VOA that no measures have been taken to protect the staff at the nation’s largest health facility.

“It’s sad to say this but the hospital receives a lot of patients daily and we are not — I repeat — we are not ready, as far as I know, to diagnose a person who has the coronavirus,” he said, adding that they don’t even have the test to determine if someone is infected.

“The diagnosis is biological so the laboratory has to confirm the diagnosis. We don’t have the test. We, the medical personnel, have not received any instructions at all with regards to detecting coronavirus cases, nor how to protect ourselves. We are seeing (in the news) all the equipment other countries have to deal with the coronavirus, their doctors, their technicians are well equipped. We, on the other hand, have never received anything that would allow us to face the possible arrival of coronavirus in the country.”

The statement was in sharp contrast to the assurances given by Public Health Minister Greta Roy Clement earlier this week during a National Palace press event, where she detailed steps the administration is taking to handle possible coronavirus cases.

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