COVID-19 screening and triage at Timor-Leste's national hospital
24 Apr 2020
A working group of doctors, nurses, and midwives from the Ministry of Health and non-governmental organisations, including St John of God Social Outreach, have drawn on their collective experience in local hospital and primary health care systems to create the framework.
Prior to this, there had been limited COVID-19 testing and control mechanisms in Timor, where there are just six ICU beds, all of which are located at the national hospital in the country’s capital, Dili.
St John of God Social Outreach Country Manager Timor-Leste, Melanie McVean said the screening and triage framework is being used in conjunction with a rapid questionnaire to optimise the integration of a new system into established clinical triage protocol and avoid the creation of new pathways.
“Having the mechanisms in place to prioritise urgent care is helping to prevent the country’s healthcare system becoming overwhelmed by COVID-19,” Melanie said.
“We are all hoping that the virus doesn’t spread through the communities here and these mechanisms provide a filter to assist with reducing the spread and protecting our healthcare workers.”
As of 24 April 2020, Timor-Leste has 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including one recovered and 432 people in quarantine facilities with a further 1643 having completed 14 days of self-isolation.
The nation’s borders will be closed to all foreigners, unless specifically authorised, from 28 March until 26 April 2020.
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