‘Not business as usual’ nurses say over rising wave of COVID cases at Mater Dei

Summer wave of COVID cases ‘a big issue in the community’

File photo
File photo

Nursing staff are witnessing rising levels in COVID-19 cases admitted to Mater Dei Hospital, fearing a surge in the community that is no longer discernible except to hose working the hospital wards.

A host of wards are now taking in COVID-19 patients that previously hosted inpatients assigned to medical wards.

ases Unit and an obstectrics ward (OBS-1), the surgical admissions ward (SAU-2), medical wards M1-4 and M6, and a urology ward (URO-2), are now handling COVID patients.

With each ward handling 20-24 patients, various sectors of Mater Dei Hospital have seem their specialities dispersed in other wards as rising cases split the general hospital between COVID and non-COVID wards.

After COVID patients are discharged following five days under monitoring, they could be placed in either of the major incident unit wards – MIU 1-6 – which, nursing staff told MaltaToday, are corridors, the medical library, and the staff canteen.

“What were first intended as temporary areas for COVID patients, have now become permanent, and it is certainly not ideal, because we haven’t had new wards opened in eight years,” nursing union boss Paul Pace told MaltaToday.

“With nothing to increase capacity, for a population that today includes a growing foreign cohort of 100,000 people, what we’re seeing here is a big issue in the community that the government is not talking about.”

Pace said such ward congestions tend to be the norm at the start of winter. “Instead it is happening at the start of summer!” he said.

“Government seems to be giving the impression that it is business as usual, but it’s hospitals that are taking the flak.... the canteen is certainly not up to any standard in health practices to be able to host acutely ill patients.”

Yesterday Malta registered 471 new COVID-19 infections, and two deaths. The number of COVID-19 deaths stands at 756.

In all, 108,283 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Malta since the pandemic broke in March 2020. There have been 99,241 people who recovered.

The number of active cases has dipped slightly to 7,890.

But the health ministry has stopped publishing daily bulletins on social media which show details about the pandemic in Malta.

Data is still being published by the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 Public Health Response Team on an open source database although certain details such as the number of positive COVID-19 cases in hospital and the details about people who had died are not included in the dataset.

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