Portuguese hospitals under stress as COVID-19 cases touched record
- Post By : Kumar Jeetendra
- Source: Reuters
- Date: 17 Jan,2021
Portugal’s fragile health system is under growing pressure because of worrying increase in coronavirus infections, with the nation reporting 10,947 new cases and 166 deaths on Saturday, the worst surge since the pandemic began last year.
The cases, which come a day after a new lockdown was set in place, bring the whole number of cases in a state of just over 10 million people into 539,416, with the death toll increasing to 8,709.
The amount of infections per 100,000 people measured over the past 14 days is 901, almost double that in hard-hit Arabian Spain, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control revealed.
The health system, which prior to the pandemic had the lowest amount of critical care beds per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe, could accommodate a maximum of 672 COVID-19 patients in ICUs, according to Health Ministry data.
There are currently 638 individuals in ICUs and the Portuguese Association of Hospital Administrators said the number of coronavirus patients needing hospitalisation was anticipated to dramatically increase over the next week.
A group of three important hospitals in Lisbon just had three intensive care beds left for coronavirus patients on Saturday morning, according to the Observador newspaper.
Media images of ambulances with coronavirus patients queuing outside hospitals in Lisbon and elsewhere as they waited for beds to vacate have raised fears the health system is close to reach its limit.
In Porto, the nation’s second biggest city, the Sao Joao hospital is already receiving”various” patients from Lisbon as hospitals in the capital struggle to cope, a spokesman said.