Health plans to reinforce the templates of hospitals and emergency care - La Provincia

The Canary Islands, with a population census that slightly exceeds two million residents, registered 46 active cases of coronavirus until noon yesterday. By percentage, this number of infected only represents 0.0021% of the total population of the Islands. The data, with all the disaffection shown by the numbers, could indicate that the Archipelago faces a minor setback. Nothing is further from reality. The problem, if not contained, can overwhelm hospital emergencies and, incidentally, collapse the health service. Faced with this bleak scenario, the regional executive has taken a series of containment measures in search of anticipation. In this plan, it stands out, reinforcing the staff of the Canary Islands hospitals and emergency care groups.

The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, with that idea as a flag, has already transferred its purpose to the managers of all the hospitals of the Archipelago, which have begun the process of quantifying their needs in order for the Executive to proceed with the reinforcement of the templates of the large health centers of each of the Islands. This forecasting exercise orbits around two assumptions: the increase in demand for emergency services and the contagion among health personnel -one of the groups called target in this crisis-.

Among the control actions taken by the Ministry of Health, for the moment, there is no cancellation of vacations for professionals in the area or reorganization of staff. From the department itself last night it was noted that "that decision has not been made, but more measures are being considered. When there is something definitive it will be communicated to the staff itself so as not to confuse the staff of the centers."

Isolated toilets

The Ministry of Health, yesterday, denied that any of its workers are infected with Covid-19, although the management of the Hospital de Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín did communicate that it had requested several health workers to stay at their homes after detecting a positive in the hospital center with which they came into contact prior to being diagnosed.

Woman at the UMI

The action of the Negrín leadership was taken after a Colombian citizen, resident in Gran Canaria, attended the Hospital's emergency department feeling unwell. The 83-year-old woman, who had previous pathologies, had close contact with a grandson from Italy, but when she came to the emergency department, she did not disclose this information.

In this context, with the ignorance of this information by the staff, the reference compound in the north of Gran Canaria was unable to activate the coronavirus protocol at first. Only when the woman tested positive - she was tested for the symptoms she presented - was it decided to enter the Intensive Medicine Unit located on the sixth floor of Negrín and that the first health workers who attended her were isolated in their homes for prevention.

18 more positives

The Ministry of Health only offered data on active cases during the morning. The figure, yesterday at noon, amounted to 46, 18 more than during the day on Wednesday. Of the total number of positives registered in the Archipelago, 15 are hospitalized.

Among the hospitalized patients, two appear in intensive care: the Colombian woman admitted to the Negrín and the Italian citizen -the first case located in Gran Canaria, in Playa de Arinaga- who since last weekend has been in the IMMI of the Insular Hospital -after spending a few hours in the Maternal before registering a worsening in his health. Its evolution, in the last hours, showed a slight improvement.

By islands Tenerife has recorded 31 positive cases - plus three discharges, which would be 34 accumulated - ?. In Gran Canaria 12 active cases are registered, one case in Fuerteventura and two in La Palma -the first of the Isla Bonita-.

Restriction on visits

In order to keep the autonomous community in the current virus containment situation, the Ministry of Health has designed a series of initial measures. To do this, it requests citizen collaboration to protect risk groups: the elderly, the sick and health personnel.

Thus, the regional Executive emphasizes that visits to hospitalized patients are prohibited in all hospitals of the Canary Health Service (SCS), except in the case of minor patients, patients with deficiencies or advanced age requiring a companion, as well as those cases in which exceptionally and justifiably a companion is authorized by the management of the center. In these cases, the managing center must take the informative and preventive measures to ensure that the companions comply with the instructions established in the applicable protocols.

The accompaniment of patients who go to the emergency services of the centers and services dependent on the SCS is also prohibited, unless the patient is a minor or is unable to take care of himself requires the company of other people, in which case only a single companion will be allowed access.

These restrictions have been established for a period of 15 days -which started yesterday-, unless new epidemiological reasons advise its extension.

Protection of the elderly

The elderly are one of the most vulnerable groups in the face of this new situation and, therefore, the Government chaired by Ángel Víctor Torres (PSOE) has established a series of measures for their protection, such as the closure of all clubs and leisure centers in older than the Canary Islands; the prohibition of visits in all nursing homes in the Autonomous Community -except in those cases in which, for duly justified reasons, the management of the center authorizes it, in this case, extreme informative and preventive measures to ensure that the visitor complies with the instructions established in the applicable protocols.

These measures, for the time being, will also be in force for two weeks.

Information lines

To meet requests for information on prevention measures, possibilities of contagion and false concepts related to the virus, the Ministry of Health maintains a toll-free telephone line (900 112 061), from which a nursing team, under the coordination of the Canary Emergency Service (SUC), resolve any type of question.

The Executive also stresses the importance that people who consider that they may have symptoms related to the coronavirus (cough, sore throat, fever and feeling of shortness of breath) and who have returned in the last 14 days from any of the areas of risk or status related to someone who comes from these points, contact the 1-1-2, avoiding going directly to the Primary Care centers or Hospital Emergencies. Through this route, the extraction of samples will be managed in the home.

These lines received 2,512 calls on Wednesday; of which 2,222 on the information line and 290 on 112. In total, 9,246 calls have been received, of which 7,478 have been to line 900 and 1,768 on 112.

Companies and schools

During the day yesterday, several companies and schools in Gran Canaria were forced to order the residential isolation of some employees after showing symptoms of Covid-19 or after being in contact with people who had tested positive.


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