Emergency staff ‘stressed’ by sustained rise in Covid-19 infection rate

Emergency physicians have admitted to being “stressed” in recent weeks due to the increase in Covid-19 infections in Spain.

“WE are stressed, we have been like this since the end of July and all of August. Now, we are going to more so because the contagion rate has increased,” President of the Spanish Society of Emergency and Emergency Medicine (SEMES), Juan Gonzales Armengol, told Europe Press.

“It must be borne in mind that the majority of patients seen in the Emergency Department are non-Covid patients,” he added.

Armengol pointed out that the current health situation is “very different from March”, because the contagion rate at the moment is being “translated progressively”, something which didn’t happen at the beginning of the pandemic.

He said it is clear there is “community transmission”, and added that “as the days go by, the number of admissions increases and some activities will have to be suspended”.

SEMES believes “other types of measures” are required.

When asked about the effectiveness of partial confinement in towns and cities, SEMES said it is important all sectors work together, and that the onus is not just on the health sector to fight the battle against the virus.

With regards to the immediate future from the perspective of the emergency services, Armengol told the publication “it will depend on the flu vaccination campaign”.

He said “we are going to see how the flu campaign is carried out, it has had a fairly positive effect” pointing out that it has had a “fairly positive affect in countries like Australia and Argentine”.

“If what has happened in other countries is transferred, we hope that this incidence will be lower than expected.”

Three weeks ago, Spain’s Ministry of Health announced it was bringing forward its nationwide flu campaign “to advance vaccination as much as possible” and “protect the vulnerable”.

Health bosses agreed with the autonomous communities to start vaccination at the beginning of October.

The campaign is normally rolled out early November.

Health Minister, Salvador Illa Roca, said “the objective is 75 per cent coverage for all health workers and people over 65; and 60 per cent for pregnant women and people at risk.”

The Ministry of Health reported yesterday (Wednesday, September 16) 11,193 new cases of coronavirus since the last update, of which 4,728 were diagnosed in the previous 24 hours.

Since the start of the pandemic, 614,360 people have been infected in Spain.

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Tara Rippin

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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