ICU staff at Sant Joan de Déu Hospital identify themselves with photos. | Ultima Hora

Son Llàtzer Hospital has closed one of its ICUs because the number of serious coronavirus patients has dropped significantly.

Before the pandemic, Zone 2 was the Medium Ambulatory Surgery Area and later became a COVID-19 ward with 12 beds for critically ill coronavirus patients. It will now be used for other patients and some of the staff will be moved to the ER.

Son Llàtzer has 31 ICU beds in two separate units and during the peak of infections 80% of them were occupied and those with mild coronavirus symptoms were transferred to the Melià Palma Bay hotel which has been converted to accommodate hospital patients.

On Thursday there were 13 critically ill patients in an Intensive Care Unit with a capacity for 19.

The number of coronavirus patients has been steadily declining over the last week and more people are also being discharged from hospital.

On Thursday 79 patients were in ICU in the Balearic Islands and there were 588 active positive cases.

31 new patients were diagnosed with coronavirus taking the total to 1,637 and 918 people have been discharged.

Another 6 people died, three of whom were in Residential Care Centres and 131 people have died since the health crisis began.

Outstanding mass tests

The World Health Organisation has proposed three requirements to initiate the end of the coronavirus restrictions in different countries:

A controlled and low transmission; minimise the risks in Residences and between Healthcare facilities and conduct population testing to identify those who have Covid-19.

Widespread testing has become the biggest obstacle to returning to normality.

Dr Javier Arranz, Spokesperson for the Coronavirus Committee, who acknowledges that those with symptoms are already being detected and isolated quickly says more could be done.

"You have to go a little further" he said, "the European Union is asking countries to detect, test and discover asymptomatic patients, by extending the study to a large part of the population and that is something that is still pending."

SATSE wants all healthcare workers tested

The Nursing Union, SATSE, claims that the IB-Salut Occupational Risk Prevention Services does not test many Healthcare Professionals who’ve had close contact with coronavirus patients, if the symptoms they present are mild and that no contact studies are being carried out on infected professionals.

The union is calling for a mass screening like the ones being performed at some Residential Care Centres.

Sant Joan de Déu

Healthcare professionals at the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in the Balearic Islands have devised a way to humanise their work.

The Personal Protective Equipment that they have to wear makes it impossible for patients to identify with staff, so they’ve attached photographs of themselves to their uniforms.

“Patients in the COVID-19 units see the healthcare professionals who care for them every day and we want our patients to see the smile of those who care for them," said Isabel Román, a geriatric specialist.