The arguments about costs and standards and procedures will continue, but the Hospital Panami Solidario is open in Albrook. MINSA photo.
Just when the existing intensive care
units were pushed to their limits…
by Eric Jackson
On this Thursday, June 11 five patients with COVID-19 infections were transferred from the Hospital San Miguel Arcangel in San Miguelito to the new Hospital Panama Solidario in Albrook. The new hospital is not fully furnished, equipped or staffed, but all of that will be gradually added. The new space had been ready for more than a week, but there were inspections, beds, machines, nursing stations and many other things to set up, all of which was being done as the hospitals were at or approaching a combined 500 or so patients in the wards, about 100 of then in the ICUs. That’s pretty much maximum capacity, unless they start putting beds in the hallways. New infections are spiking, but most of those testing positive are sent home and told to remain in isolation, or in some cases housed in hotels turned into quarantine centers.
Will a serious rise in the daily death toll lag the rise in new infections by a few days? Perhaps. However, even if no cure, let alone a vaccine, has been found, health care professionals are getting better at treating the symptoms as they gain more experience with this disease.
The debates rage on about quarantines, curfews and where resources should be allocated. Some of that is scurrilous, but now there are some serious suggestions of spending some of the money that might be used to better feed everyone to test everyone. The testing option was way out of the question when the nationwide lockdown was ordered but may not be today. We begin to get more choices than existed at the onset of the crisis here. This new hospital also adds to the options.
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