UPDATED: 17. AUG 2020, AT 12:04

Several stages and semaphores. The new pandemic plan is out

The ministry is preparing capacities in hospitals.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

Slovakia has entered the first stage of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, the Health Ministry is currently redefining hospital beds in 10 selected facilities across the country, in line with the recently adopted pandemic plan. This will concern 3,503 beds in total, in infectious disease departments which is about 233 beds per hospital and nearly 500 per region, the SITA newswire reported.

These beds will be used by patients who are positive for COVID-19. The others will be for other patients.

National emergency in the third stage

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The second stage is defined by a worsening situation, beds becoming occupied by more than one half and new outbreaks occurring. The plan suggests that the Health Ministry should redefine beds for coronavirus patients in 14 hospitals with infectious disease departments and clinics.

In the event of the third stage, a national emergency would be declared, SITA wrote.

In this situation, the occupancy of hospital beds would have to exceed 75 percent, while the respective district authorities would have to put the emerging hotspots into quarantine in order to slow down the spread of the disease and prevent the health sector from collapsing.

In addition, more hospitals will have to single out beds for coronavirus patients based on an order from the Health Ministry.

Semaphore for nursing and medical facilities

The pandemic plan also details the so-called semaphore system for nursing homes, primary health care facilities and hospitals. These will be re-specialised based on the stage the disease has entered.

Related articleBratislava has COVID-19 semaphore Read more 

“The Health Ministry’s Health Analyses Institute has specified 14 indicators in three categories,” said Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO), as quoted by SITA. “Based on these, the measures in respective regions will move from green to orange, and then to black.”

The data will then be provided to the regional branches of the Public Health Authority that will decide on further steps, he added.

The pandemic plan also contains a fourth stage that should prepare the country for the return to the inter-pandemic period, SITA wrote.

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