• Health fails to follow-up phone calls at home as thousands wait for test
  • A further 7,900 people who have had contact with positive patients still not tested?

The Ministry of Health says there are 7,502 possible cases of people who may have coronaviruses but who have not yet been tested in the Region of Murcia. These are people with symptoms who have called the Health Authority Coronavirus telephone number and confined themselves for 14 days to avoid possible infections.

In addition, health workers are also monitoring 7,942 people who have had contact with positive cases by telephone, and who are also quarantining in their homes.

This was stated by the Minister of Health, Manuel Villegas, yesterday, Tuesday, during his assessment of the coronavirus situation. Villegas said that “it is not a time for blame but the time to face this situation, and in Murcia we have the best team to deal with this pandemic.”

The Ministry has said that medical follow-up is being carried out on all positive cases and their relatives, who are called with an evaluation questionnaire. In these calls, the patient’s condition is assessed and his contacts are followed up.

The follow-ups have been divided into health areas. In the case of Area I (Arrixaca), there are 1,225 possible cases and 1,500 with close contact who are being followed up by telephone. In Area II (Cartagena), there are 1,453 possible cases and 1,596 close contacts; in III (Lorca), they are 850 and 922, respectively; in Area IV (Northwest), 431 and 328; in V (Altiplano), 441 and 363; In Area VI (Morales Meseguer) there are 1,309 possible cases and 1,462 contacts; in VII (Reina Sofía), 1,189 and 1,088; in Area VIII ( Mar Menor ), 451 and 506; and in Area IX (Vega Alta), 153 and 159 cases respectively.

This telephone service is carried out from health centres. It is about breaking the spread of the virus. “We mitigate the pressure on hospitals and thanks to these measures we can reach so many more members of the public with the lowest cost of life and in time,” he said.

By age there is a peak among the population of 35 to 55 years. “Hence, we recommend that those who are not in essential sectors do not work.”

So far, 477 positive cases have been confirmed in the Region (92 more in the last 24 hours); 127 patients are in hospital, 33 of them in the ICU, and 350 are at home in isolation. In addition, four people have been cured but sadly the death toll rose from 3 to 6 yesterday, Tuesday. The last patients to have lost their lives due to coronavirus were an 81-year-old man, a 91-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man, all three with underlying symptoms. Among medical professionals, 93 have tested positive for Covid-19.

In care homes for the elderly and, especially, at Caser en Santo Ángel (Murcia) where there is already one death and several positives and which is now being supervised by the Autonomous Community and the UME, the Minister of Health explained that On Monday several inspectors visited to assess the conditions, and samples were taken from more than 90 people, including residents and staff.”

Villegas also confirmed that the regional government has processed orders from February 15 for more than 27 million euros. “Most of this merchandise is yet to arrive although we anticipate that it will be received, for the most part, this week and next.”

Of this, 15 million is for sanitary protection materials and, in addition, the Ministry has ordered respirators, monitors, portable radiology equipment and material for isolation units, the value of which amounts to a further 3.3 million euros.

The Health Counselor also reported that rapid tests to detect the disease have not yet arrived. In his opinion, the Ministry of Health is “logically” directing all the effort to the Community of Madrid, “given the situation it is experiencing.”

In the Region, cases are on the rise, but have not reached the peak, which the Minister hopes may come next week.