AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK: Europe’s hospital system is at risk of buckling due to a soaring COVID-19 infection that pushes the continent back to the center of the global pandemic on Wednesday, and nearly two-thirds of the US is at risk. Diffusion area.
With the number of heavily controlled European cases now constantly reviving due to the unprecedented blockade in March and April, national authorities from Poland to Portugal have expressed increasing awareness of the new crises facing health infrastructure.
Belgium is struggling with what the Health Minister calls “tsunami infection” and has postponed all non-essential hospital procedures, and similar measures are emerging in other countries. “If last week’s rhythm continues, rescheduling and interruptions of some non-priority activities will be inevitable,” said Julio Pascual, head of medical at Barcelona Hospital Del Mar.
In the U.S., 32 out of 50 states entered the danger zone with more than 100 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past week, with an average of 120 cases per 100,000 people nationwide, the highest since the peak in July. Reuters analysis. A block in the Midwest and mountainous regions from Idaho to Illinois, along with Alaska, represents a rapidly growing infection into the danger zone.
The Midwest set a record for more than 27,000 new infections and hospitalizations on Monday, and 10,830 on Tuesday for five consecutive days. Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore Health Commissioner, tweeted, “We are not far from a period of exponential and explosive growth of #covid19 in the United States.” “We’ve seen a surge like this twice before. The difference now is that there are virus hotspots across the country and winter is still ahead.”
Like Europe, this raised fears that hospitals could be overwhelmed during the early months of the pandemic in the northeastern United States. The Boston Public School System has announced that students will switch to distance learning from Thursday due to rising COVID-19 infection rates, and New Jersey governor Phil Murphy said they will quarantine themselves after contact with someone who tested positive. Corona virus.
In Berlin, German Health Minister Jens Spahn also tested positive after attending a cabinet meeting that day, but because the cabinet complies with sanitary and street rules, there is no need to isolate it. To complicate the situation in Europe, widespread public support for the blockade ordered earlier this year has weakened to prevent medical services from being overwhelmed by widespread coronavirus fatigue and the dire economic impact of the crisis.
Unwilling to close the country again, governments have sought less drastic measures to limit public gatherings and balance the need to keep the economy under control with the pandemic. According to data from the European Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Europe has recorded more than 5 million deaths and more than 200,000 deaths, and new cases began to surge from the end of September.
Although at a much lower level compared to the peak of the crisis six months ago, the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions and hospitalizations has risen again (defined as more than 25% of the pandemic peak) and is increasing in 20 countries, a recent weekly summary last week. Hospitals’ ability to handle waves of coronavirus patients, as well as people suffering from cancer, heart disease and other serious conditions, are still weak.
Dutch health officials say that if the number of COVID-19 patients in their ward continues to rise, three-quarters of routine care may have to be scrapped by the end of November, and similar warnings have come from Czech authorities. “We hit the wall on the clinical bed,” said Wouter van der Horst, spokesman for the Dutch Hospital Association NVZ.
‘We can’t reach everyone’
With the surge in hospital admissions, much attention has been focused on the intensive care unit, which overwhelmed many areas during the first wave of the crisis. Italian local Lombardy authorities at the center of the early wave ordered the reopening of special temporary intensive care units established in Milan and Bergamo on Wednesday.
Several regional health authorities in Germany, one of the countries that have already handled the first wave most effectively, have agreed to accept intensive care units from other countries. On Wednesday, Irish authorities said the average of five days has tripled since early October, and there are no longer a shortage of officials to keep the contact tracking system running.