translated from Spanish: Continued rise in contagions as ICU bed occupancy is on edge

The steady rise in coronavirus cases and the alarming figures delivered by the government on the last daily roll are a reflection of the health situation that the country is experiencing. C
on a 8% national positivity, the scenario becomes really alarming for the healthcare network. Currently, there are 2,152 people who are hospitalized in Intensive Care Units, of which 1,881 are with mechanical ventilation support, with a total of 193 beds available, according to data from the Ministry of Health. Projections are no better: it is estimated that 300 critical beds will be needed in the coming weeks.
Juan Carlos Said, an internist at Hospital Sotero del Río and an expert in Public Health, said: «The situation is serious, the most serious we have ever experienced in the entire pandemic. We have already far surpassed what was experienced last June and what concerns is that there is no contagion break, which makes us think that the next two weeks the hospital situation can only get worse.»
In addition, he added that «if there is no break in the coming days in the rise of contagions, the Government may have to start thinking about additional measures, such as expanding quarantine zones.»
With regard to the vaccination process, he noted that progressive improvements would possibly be seen and that it was likely that from the first week of April there would be a decrease in hospitalizations of older patients who were vaccinated first, but that it would be a slow decline.
It should be noted that this week, in addition, a total of 3,276 critical beds were reached as the highest since the beginning of the pandemic, surpassing 3,216 beds on July 10. It is because of this situation that the Government has decreed to enable more critical beds in the different health facilities.
«The occupancy level is maximum and the number of beds cannot grow infinitely, and not only because of a bed theme but because there are no health workers. There is an increase in medical licenses, there are colleagues who are with significant stress problems, staff who have passed away, who have had aftermath, in terms of human resources we are obviously worse off,» he stressed.
For his part, Sebastián Bravo, chief patient doctor of the UC CHRISTUS Health Network, emphasized that they are concerned that the beds enabled in the first wave were exceeded. «We have a number of Covid patients who are not older, but they are all beds occupied because there is a percentage of non-Covid patients who are still using these beds, for all cases of pending pathologies.»
In addition to the above, he emphasized that the possibility of further growing is difficult due to staff exhaustion. «The ministry demanded that we have to grow to the same number of beds as the first time and we are fulfilling that, but it is difficult.»
As a result of this situation, the authorities reported new quarantines across the country to reduce mobility and lower the level of contagion. From this Saturday, the communes of Iquique, Viña del Mar, Santiago, La Cisterna, Talagante, Calera de Tango, Buin, among others, will have to return to total confinement.

Original source in Spanish

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