Mater Dei Hospital remains in a position to provide the necessary care to all patients despite an increase in positive cases as a result of the most recent COVID-19 surge, according to a Health Ministry spokesperson.
Malta is currently experiencing a spike in positive cases, with January and February repeatedly registering record numbers, with the number of active cases now standing at 3,035. 335 people have so far died as a result of the virus.
Last week, the Medical Association of Malta (MAM) warned that the consistently high numbers being registered would mean that Mater Dei’s intensive care unit would be unable to cope.
Speaking during her weekly COVID-19 update last Friday, Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci said there were 150 patients currently receiving treatment at hospital, up from 130 the week before.
Of these, 96 were being treated at Mater Dei. Of these patients, 19 were in intensive care – the same number as the previous week. A further 11 are in the hospital’s Infectious Diseases Unit while the remaining 66 are in other wards at the hospital.
Health Department sources have confirmed to told Lovin Malta that there are currently some 20 patients receiving intensive care, adding that the capacity could go up to 50 if necessary.
They pointed out however that if this were to be the case, elective surgeries would need to be stopped because of staff considerations. The number of ITU admissions that can be catered for without requiring staff from other sections is roughly 34.
Asked to clarify what the situation was with regard to the ITU, a health ministry spokesperson insisted that Mater Dei would remain in a position to care for all patients.
“It is acknowledged that COVID has placed unprecedented pressure on all ITUs across the globe. Having said this Mater Dei Hospital remains in a position to provide the necessary care to all of its patients,” the spokesperson said.
They added that it remained imperative that the general public observes the public health measures in place to allow the vaccine rollout to continue having the desired effect on the control of the pandemic.
Malta has so far vaccinated 101,776 individuals, with 21,477 having recovered from the virus.