LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s public well being system is on the verge of collapsing as hospitals within the areas worst-affected by a worrying surge in coronavirus circumstances are rapidly working out of intensive care beds to deal with COVID-19 sufferers.
“Our health system is under a situation of extreme pressure,” Well being Minister Marta Temido informed reporters on Sunday afternoon after a go to to a struggling hospital. “There is a limit and we are very close to it.”
The well being system, which previous to the pandemic had the bottom variety of essential care beds per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe, can accommodate a most of 672 COVID-19 sufferers in intensive care models, or ICUs, in line with well being ministry information.
The variety of individuals in ICUs with COVID-19 reached 647 on Sunday, in line with well being authority DGS. The Portuguese Affiliation of Hospital Directors mentioned the variety of coronavirus sufferers needing hospitalisation was more likely to dramatically enhance over the subsequent week.
Three days right into a nationwide lockdown, the nation of simply 10 million individuals reported 10,385 new circumstances and 152 fatalities on Sunday, bringing the full variety of infections to 549,801, with the demise toll rising to eight,861.
In response to ourworldindata.org web site supported by Oxford College, Portugal had the very best variety of coronavirus circumstances in Europe per capita over the past seven days.
Most new circumstances had been concentrated in Lisbon, the place many sufferers on the metropolis’s public hospitals have already been transferred elsewhere, together with to well being models within the nation’s second largest metropolis Porto.
“We are already treating patients beyond our installed capacity,” mentioned Daniel Ferro, director of Lisbon’s largest hospital Santa Maria. “And we are not the only hospital where this is happening.”
The Garcia de Orta Hospital, throughout the River Tagus from Lisbon, mentioned in a press release the hospital might quickly enter a “pre-catastrophe” section because it not has beds for coronavirus sufferers.
Reporting by Catarina Demony; Enhancing by Jonathan Oatis