Covid-19 in Europe: Doctors shield themselves with trash bags


EUROPE, MAR 21: At some Spanish hospitals, doctors and nurses resort to taping garbage sacks to their arms to shield themselves while they work to save an avalanche of patients fighting for breath. They’ve run out of disposable coats.The plastic glasses they wear are of such poor quality that medics can barely see through them, so they find the pulses and veins of coronavirus patients by touch, said Samantha Gonzalez, a 52-year-old nurse who works in the emergency room at the Txagorritxu hospital in the Basque city of Vitoria.“This is not the first world anymore—it’s a war,” said Gonzalez.The main hospital in Bergamo, northern Italy, is struggling to keep up with the influx of patients as personnel fall sick themselves. Authorities are seeking to transfer the least serious virus patients to local retirement homes equipped with oxygen apparatus, after moving the elderly into hotels.“Just in the nephrology department, three out of 13 colleagues have fallen ill, one of them seriously,” said Giuseppe Remuzzi, a former head of the department of medicine at the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo who has joined efforts to contain the outbreak. “This is a scary, terrible situation.”With Italy overtaking China as the most deadly center of the pandemic and Spain recording its grimmest day yet for fatalities, health care in the two countries is buckling in a way not seen in peacetime.How they are trying to cope with the crisis is already a worrying lesson for other European countries as the harried ranks of doctors and nurses become depleted by contagion and efforts to find space and breathing aids for patients look increasingly futile. Finding space for the dead is also tougher. Italy has brought in the army.
Hospitals in Italy and now Spain have been overwhelmed by the scale of admissions but more importantly the speed.

Share This Story

Comment On This Story


Photo Gallery

BSE Sensex
NSE Nifty