Hospitals filling as influx of Covid-19 patients persists

Ljubljana/Maribor – There were a record 1,299 coronavirus patients in Slovenian hospitals on Tuesday and the country’s largest hospitals, the university medical centres in Ljubljana and Maribor, are filling up.

UKC Maribor, which had a record 218 patients today, including 47 in intensive care, said the inflow of new patients over the weekend, when the total number rose by 40, had forced them to relocate some patients to hospitals elsewhere in the country.

“Given the enormous influx of new patients, we found ourselves in severe distress yesterday. All our capacities filled up in an instant and the solidarity between Slovenian hospitals really shone through,” the hospital’s medical director Matjaž Vogrin said.

In UKC Ljubljana there were 356 Covid-19 patients this morning, of which 60 in intensive care. A further 42 are monitored via telemedicine, according to general manager Janez Poklukar.

Over the weekend UKC Ljubljana received patients from the overflowing wards in Maribor and Celje. All the patients were accommodated in a new Covid-19 ward that was recently created in record time in a vacant, unfinished part of the hospital.

The hospital has sufficient space but it takes effort to secure the staff. Poklukar said 835 employees had been assigned to Covid duty on Monday.

Slovenia reported 1,302 new cases for Monday and a record 59 patients died, bringing the death toll from the epidemic to 1,156.

With the mortality rate rising – by some accounts Slovenia now has one of the highest Covid-19 mortality rates per capita in the world – there have been questions about whether hospitals can still provide adequate care.

Jelko Kacin, the government’s coronavirus spokesman, said today there were currently no indications that hospitals cannot provide adequate care.