The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, has admitted that the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be one of the reasons that Spain has a high rate of contagion among its health workers. According to the latest figures, 5,400 professionals have been infected (1,500 more than yesterday), which represents 13 percent of the total number of cases detected in our country (39,673). In Italy the number of doctors and nurses affected is close to 8% and in China it does not reach 4%. Spain has entered a decisive moment in the fight against the pandemic, and right now all hands are few to overcome it.
The expert from the Ministry of Health pointed out at the press conference of the Coronavirus Technical Management Committee to three causes that could be involved in these figures. Firstly, he pointed to the “two or three outbreaks” of coronaviruses that occurred in hospitals at the beginning of the epidemic, which had “an impact” on the number of professionals affected. Secondly, Simón indicated that “some have also been infected in the community,” and not during their work in the centers.
The third cause, according to Simón, would be that access to PPE for health professionals “has suffered some critical moments in the ability to provide them”, although he pointed out that access to these protection systems “is proving sufficient” to general level, for which reason its scarcity has been limited to specific cases. In this context, he has argued that this situation can be attributed to a problem of “global availability” of these products, so there are problems in accessing them in the market.
Regarding the situation of collapse in some healthcare services, and particularly in the ICU, Simón has advanced that it will be generalized “to the entire Spanish territory”, coinciding with the arrival of the peak of cases and the evolution of patients already hospitalized . For this reason, it has opted for “efforts” to “rationalize the use of services” and obtain sanitary material that this pressure on the ICU does not affect the healthcare service.