NACHOD, Czech Republic (Reuters) – Jan Mach had coped along with his jap Czech district hospital’s COVID-19 wards filling up – till 22 new arrivals on Monday alone had been an excessive amount of and he needed to search exterior assist.
On Wednesday, ambulances took 15 sufferers to hospitals as a lot as 230 km (140 miles) away, as nearer ones had been additionally packed.
“Now we have been near our ceiling prior to now 14 days, now we have touched it a number of instances,” director Mach mentioned, including the 339-bed hospital had 120 COVID-19 sufferers. “On Monday alone we took in 22 sufferers and that was past our means.”
Nachod and Trutnov, neighbouring districts on the Polish border 150 km east of Prague, are amongst a number of areas which have seen incessant unfold of the illness, regardless of a nationwide lockdown.
A brand new, extra infectious variant of the virus first detected in Britain is the doubtless motive – information from January confirmed between 45% and 60% of recent sufferers had been contaminated with the UK variant.
On Friday, the area of 550,000 reported simply 4 free beds in COVID-19 wards and eight in excessive dependency and intensive care items (ICUs) treating coronavirus sufferers.
“We’re taking in sufferers in a extra critical situation and youthful sufferers, I imply born 1970 and later, we had not seen that within the autumn,” Mach mentioned.
Sufferers who would usually be handled in high-dependency items or ICU have needed to be given therapies akin to high-flow oxygen on regular wards as a result of scarcity of beds.
Mach spoke minutes after overseeing one other ICU affected person being transferred to a different hospital. Employees wearing full-body protecting gear pushed the trolley previous piles of apparatus containers, one in every of them with the hand-written label “physique baggage”.
The Czech Republic has ranked among the many European nations worst-hit by the pandemic. Solely Portugal has reported extra new circumstances per capita prior to now two weeks, in keeping with the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management (ECDC).
As of Friday morning, the nation of 10.7 million had reported 17,902 COVID-19 associated deaths.
Nonetheless, the parliament voted on Thursday to not lengthen a nationwide state of emergency, which can raise a few of present lockdown measures together with the closure of outlets, a loosely policed ban on gatherings and a night-time curfew.
Petr Stepanek, chief surgeon within the resuscitation unit at Nachod hospital, mentioned the state of affairs was “very tense”.
“It’s concerning the ‘British’ variant,” Stepanek mentioned. “If a majority of the inhabitants has already had it, thank God. If not, then the state of affairs can change into very dramatic.”
(Reporting by Robert Muller; Writing by Jan Lopatka; Enhancing by Alex Richardson)
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