By Tara Rippin • 20 March 2020 • 9:55
COMPLETE ISOLATION: The hospitals will be made up of seperate units connected by tunnels to reduce risks. CREDIT: Generalitat Valencia Facebook
AN emergency field hospital with 400 beds to help fight the coronavirus as the number of infections rise will be built in Alicante and should be operational within the next two weeks.
The Valencian Government has announced a further 700 beds will be made available in Valencia and Castellon with the creation of two additional ‘field hospitals’.
And the authority also reached its first agreement with the hotelier section to use facilities as a health centre, for those who don’t need to be hospitalised but require specialised care.
President Ximo Puig said that so far, resources are sufficient to meet demand, “but all scenarios must be planned to anticipate needs”.
The new facility in Alicante will be located close to the General Hospital, and likewise the other two facilities will be based close to their reference hospital.
Each of the ‘field hospitals’ will be equipped with: an isolation unit, quarantine zone, toilets, a reception, triage areas and a resting place for medical staff.
Each one will be made up of a series of constructions which will be connected via tunnels so that there is total isolation from the outside. And because they are expected to provide a service for “some time”, they will be built accordingly, with insulation from the exterior.
More than 1,000 people are infected with the virus in the Valencian Community, with 24 deaths.
The Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, said she does not know when the peak of contagions will be reached, although she pointed out that “it is foreseeable that this week and next will produce the highest figures”.
While she stressed the Community has the necessary means to care for the sick, the College of Physicians of Alicante has written to the Ministry of Health highlighting “concern” about the shortage of masks, waterproof suits and protective glasses in public and private healthcare.
In a statement, they point out that the lack of material is especially worrisome in services with a higher risk of contagion such as emergencies, ICU or primary care.
In a show of solidarity, the Catholic University of Valencia (UCV), has made its facilities available to the Health Department to provide health care, both ambulatory, consultation or hospitalisation, through the Virtual Hospital and its new University Clinics. It has also offered equipment, instruments and material for the protection of health personnel.
And the Ministry of Health will open a platform on the Conelleria website so that health professionals who are retired or graduates can help fight the pandemic.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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