Critical Situation at Landspítali as Number of COVID-19 Cases Rises

Paramedics were called out numerous times yesterday for COVID-19 related …

Paramedics were called out numerous times yesterday for COVID-19 related cases. Photo/Capital Area Fire Department

Vala Hafstað

Ambulances were called 26 times in Reykjavík and vicinity yesterday for COVID-19-related transport — the highest such number since August 27, mbl.is reports, quoting the Facebook page of the Capital Area Fire Fighters Department, which operates the ambulance service.

A patient, who was infected with COVID-19, passed away at Landspítali National University Hospital yesterday. Sources tell mbl.is it is not yet clear whether the cause of death was COVID-19.

The number of new COVID-19 cases has been on the rise lately in Iceland, causing health official great worry, due to increased strain on Landspítali.

A total of 72 new domestic cases of the disease were confirmed in Iceland yesterday, according to covid.is . Thirteen COVID-19 patients are in the hospital, two of them in intensive care. The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 people keeps rising and now stands at 306.8.

Guðlaug Rakel Guðjónsdóttir, acting CEO of Landspítali.

Guðlaug Rakel Guðjónsdóttir, acting CEO of Landspítali. Kristinn Magnússon

When interviewed by Stöð2 Friday night, Guðlaug Rakel Guðjónsdóttir, acting CEO of Landspítali, described the situation at the hospital as critical.

Staffing problems, she noted, are the hospital’s major challenge, since there is a shortage of nurses and other medical staff. Those who have been working at the frontline for a long time are quite tired, she added.

The labor shortage, she warned, could result in the public having to put up with restrictions anew.

Every day, she noted, it is assessed whether there is reason to move the hospital operation to an alert phase, which would be a dramatic decision, since that would limit the number of elective procedures and other healthcare services.

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