The Ministry of Health and Medical services will be installing additional health emergency phone lines to cope with the surge in COVID-19 cases in the capital.

Permanent Secretary Pauline McNeil says with support of Our Telekom they will be installing additional public health emergency phone lines, but admits even that may not be enough.

She says the surge in COVID cases will result in some delays, as health and emergency workers are stretched.

Health workers have faced the brunt of the outbreak, with more than 100 testing positive for COVID-19 and have had to be stood down from official duties.

The national referral hospital’s (NRH) emergency department have implemented an emergency workflow to try and cope with the influx of patients.

The NRH CEO, Dr George Malefoasi, says tents are being setup outside the hospital to handle initial screening of patients and testing.

He says there is also a waiting area for results, with standard patient admission processes if one is tested positive.

Dr Malefoasi says that with the current COVID transmission at the hospital there will be delays, but says such delays is for the safety of both patients and staff at the hospital.

He is also encouraging those that are after routine checkups or have mild symptoms to go to the clinics at Rove and Kukum.