• There are currently 17 patients with coronavirus in Intensive Care and a further 80 in general wards at the University Hospital of Torrevieja
  • The hospital has increased its workforce by 97 staff and most of its 1,100 are now employed in the fight against the pandemic

Intensive Care at the University Hospital of Torrevieja is almost at the limit of its capacity with 17 patients, all currently using ventilators, however a second ICU is in preparation in the post-surgical resuscitation area with half a dozen more beds.

The centre also has a third ICU area for patients who are not affected by the pandemic but who have serious pathologies.

As neither the hospital management company, Ribera Salud, nor the Generalitat Valenciana have produced official figures for coronavirus cases in the hospital the data provided is gathered from the local Spanish press who quote ‘hospital sources.’

In addition, there are a number of local municipalities who have reported very limited positive cases. Pilar de la Horadada confirms two, San Fulgencio another two, San Miguel de Salinas and Torrevieja declare one per municipality.

But the real figures are thought to be much higher, particularly in Orihuela Costa where control of the confinement had to be reinforced by the UME (military) last week in the case of some communities of expatriates, and Torrevieja, with thousands of residents who have moved into the area from Madrid. Also on a daily basis, residents from other towns and cities in the centre of the country continue to arrive in a continuous drip that confinement has been unable to stop.

These figures do not include the cases of isolated patients in their homes that the Generalitat is monitoring daily throughout the health area.

An entire floor of the University hospital is currently dedicated to patients with coronavirus, more than 80 patients.

The Hospital, opened in 2006, was designed to accommodate patients in individual rooms but with the capacity to be doubled up in case of need. And that is what is happening right now with a capacity for two hundred and thirty individual beds.

Torrevieja is coordinating many of its services with the neighboring Vinalopó Hospital in Elche, which currently is better placed. Most of the practises are similar for both centres, and the available resources can be shared if necessary.

Despite the fact that Ribera Salud has said that it doesn’t need additional ventilators , it has received at least two in recent days, one from a private clinic in Alicante and another from the Veterinary Hospital of San Vicente, according to the Alicante College of Veterinarians.

For the first time yesterday, Ribera Salud provided some information on the pandemic saying that they had contracted a  firther 97 medical staff for Torrevieja.  It currently serves a potential population of 160,000 people with a health card, in addition to thousands of others in Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa (fifteen kilometers of coastline) in addition to Torremendo and the Entrenaranjos macro-urbanization), Los Montesinos, San Miguel de Salinas, Benijófar, Formentera, San Fulgencio , Rojales, Guardamar del Segura and Pilar de la Horadada. The area has about 1,100 permanent workers.

All services, including those in its network of health centres, have been reorganised to the fight against the coronavirus and Ribera Salud is using telematic tools to keep patients in contact with their GPs, especially through YoSalud, an application in which more than 70,000 residents are registered and that allows the patient to communicate directly with their doctors.