Coronavirus in Switzerland: are healthcare facilities ready to face it?
Confirmation of the increased spread of the Wuhan coronavirus around the world has increased public health concerns and required special procedures to address the risk of contagion.
Starting from the 30, January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that Chinese coronavirus epidemy is an international public emergency. According to the general manager Teodros Adhanom Ghenreyesus although cases outside the Chinese land are limited is necessary to adopt measures to prevent transmission in a country where there is low public health.
More than 31.000 infections have been confirmed through laboratory analysis and 638 are dead.
Although the Chinese Government took extraordinary measures to deal with the emergency, isolated the virus and shared the data with everyone, the number of unseen cases is elevated. What we face today looks very similar to what governments and healthcare facilities have faced with SARS in 2003.
Cases have been confirmed in most of the industrialized countries, like the USA, Japan, Australia, and North America. In Europe, cases have been signaled in France, Germany, Italy, UK, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Russia, and Belgium.
Meanwhile, in Switzerland, the coronavirus has been observed in none of the cases exanimated.
According to the federal office of Public Health, some persons have been placed in quarantine because they went to China. The “suspected cases” were hosted in the Zurich Hospital at Triemli because the facility has the experience to treat patients with coronavirus. By the way, the cases have been diagnosed as a “normal seasonal influence” but hospitals had to define a plan to accommodate the possible infected.
However, which are the issues that a healthcare facility can challenge? Are we ready to deal with the problems arising from the coronavirus?
The last two weeks in which the virus has spread, despite the efforts of the Chinese government, have shown how important it is for a hospital to respond promptly during an emergency. Chinese hospitals have shown how important it is to have a contingency plan to limit the overload and to be overwhelmed by the number of patients and unexpected events that may occur.
Starting from the Chinese situation, we have identified three situations faced by hospitals in Wuhan that are in the region during these days of emergency:
One of the main problems faced in the Hubei region is supply chain disruptions associated with the continued spread of the virus. In fact, as cases intensified, it was necessary for many companies to announce the extension of the closure until 10 February 2020 to avoid contamination among employees. For healthcare facilities, the problems were greater. The supply of medical equipment and equipment to avoid infection was even more complicated because most of the organizations producing pharmaceutical ingredients are in China. In addition, there has been a lack of collective management of goods and materials at the national level that would allow for better distribution between facilities and avoid the deadlock.
A second problem associated with coronavirus is the need to alert a large number of doctors as soon as possible.
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In the event of a mass influx of patients who might be infected with the virus, one of the best things to do is to isolate them to prevent others from becoming infected. Depending on the type of case (weak or severe), it is necessary to alert as quickly as possible the group of doctors defined to intervene in that specific case. However, defining specific groups who are ready to come forward, who know what their role and task is when an emergency occurs is important because it improves doctors’ activation and response times.
The third point identified is the need to isolate and monitor areas and patients in a specific section of the hospital dedicated to coronavirus cases. With a wide possibility of infection, it is essential to be able to remotely monitor a specific patient’s condition or temperature in a specific area. This will keep medical staff safe and avoid infection with patients.
Is your healthcare facility ready to face the virus?
Has your facility had a contingency plan in case of contagion?
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- Date February 11, 2020
- Tags News