For some time we can still avoid necessity to treat Covid-19 patients outside of hospitals - Vinkele

  • 2021-01-04
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - For some time we can still avoid the necessity to start treating Covid-19 patients outside of hospitals, Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development/For) said today.

The minister admitted that the situation in Latvia's hospitals is critical and that the only way to deal with it is by not allowing the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients to grow further. 

"If the curfew restrictions will work, the hospitals can expect a respite in four weeks at the earliest," the health minister said. 

She indicated that the hospitals continue to reprofile their beds so they can take in more Covid-19 patients. "We are constantly going through organizational issues - how to discharge patients, how to transfer patients to various hospitals," the minster said.

"For some time we will still be able to avoid the situation where assistance has to be provided outside of hospitals," Vinkele said, referring to the situation in other countries where Covid-19 patients are treated outside of hospitals because they have run out of free hospital beds. 

The health minister noted that in Latvia the greatest problem is the shortage of medical staff. Hospitals are dealing with the issue by hiring medical students and keeping a register of volunteers. Medics in the private sector are also being offered to get involved in treating Covid-19 patients. "However this adaptability is not unlimited because the medics are burning out," Vinkele said. 

As reported, with bed saturation in Latvia's hospitals remaining high, a solution has been found to reprofile another 83 hospital beds to accommodate the rising number of Covid-19 patients, Health Ministry official Sanita Janka told journalists today.

The total occupancy rate of hospital beds in Latvia is currently 83, but the situation differs across regions and hospitals, the Health Ministry official said.

Responding to the growing number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals a solution has been found today to reprofile another 83 hospital beds. The decision has been made, taking into consideration the available resources, including the number of medical staff, Janka noted.

She also revealed that work is also under way to provide another 50 hospital beds in Riga for Covid-19 patients with symptoms of medium severity.

As reported, the number of Covid-19 patients receiving treatment in Latvia's hospitals has reached 1,213, according to information released by the National Health Service.

In all, 112 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized in the past 24 hours. Of the hospitalized Covid-19 patients, 1,141 have symptoms of medium severity and 72 are suffering severe symptoms.