26th Jan 2022 @ 10:18 am

34 people are currently on the Covid ward at the Dr José Molina Orosa Hospital in Arrecife, whose director, José Luís Aparicio, is now considering the next stage of the contingency plan to deal with saturation of Covid resources.

Speaking to Radio Lanzarote, Aparicio said that, if the limit of 47 beds is reached, extra Covid patients “would become the responsibility of each service”. He pointed out that flu is treated in a similar way, and that hospitals in the Canaries had come under pressure from flu outbreaks in previous years, leading to “patients in corridors and staff absences”.

Aparicio pointed out that “ten or twelve” patients on the Covid ward had been admitted to hospital for other conditions, but had tested positive for the virus on admission. “If you arrive with appendicitis and test positive, we have to place you in the Covid ward and you’ll be counted as a Covid patient because you’re occupying Covid resources.”

Nevertheless, the hospital chief said he was optimistic that saturation level would not be reached, and predicted that pressure on hospitals would decrease over the coming days as active cases fall. “Cases are falling at a remarkable rate,” he said, while pointing out that there is a delay of a week to ten days before these figures are reflected in hospital occupancy figures. Aparicio claimed that the situation would be stable “by March, at the latest.”

Aparicio also said that patients who are admitted for pneumonia related to Covid infection are now showing milder symptoms and remaining in hospital for a shorter time due to the vaccine. Those who are admitted and who haven’t been vaccinated are the ones who spend more time in hospital,” he said.

Currently, there are no Covid patients in Lanzarote’s intensive care units, On the other Canary Islands, however, there are a total of 115 ICU patients, while yesterday saw one of the highest daily death tolls of the pandemic, with 14 in one day.

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