Son Espases Hospital, Palma. | P. Pellicer

The healthcare pressure on Covid wards at Son Espases Hospital this week was comparable to the lowest week between the second and third waves of the virus and if the situation continues to improve it will be possible to accelerate non-urgent surgical activity in just over two weeks.

The Crisis Committee met on Friday to discuss the evolution of the pandemic and the de-escalation process for Covid wards, which begins this weekend.

Ten coronavirus patients were discharged from hospital on Friday, no new admissions were recorded for the third day in a row and there were 33 patients on the Covid ward and 33 in the ICU.

The idea is to reverse the process that was put in place to accommodate coronavirus patients at Son Espases Hospital and recover the hospital spaces that were used for Covid beds.

In phase zero, there are 60 open beds for coronavirus patients which will be gradually reduced depending on demand.

The 2N zone was cleaned on Friday instead of waiting until Monday, at the suggestion of the Head of Internal Medicine, Javier Murillas.

From March 15, there will be three places with negative pressure in unit 3O, "as it was before the pandemic," according to Medical Director, Carmen Sanclemente.

In the ICU there are 42 beds for coronavirus patients, 46 for other patients and 6 closed places.

"We have been without Covid admissions for several days at our hospital and at others, but we have beds for the rest of the patients," explained Julio Velasco. The proposal is to reduce the number of beds for Covid patients from 0 to 6 by April 1.

"We have significantly lowered the number of coronavirus patients and suspected cases, so the -2G zone will be recovered for basic consultation and a permanent short-stay unit will be left open,” said Dino Comas who's in charge of the area.

Rehabilitation Unit 1 will also be cleaned for routine activity and for every two of beds an operating room can be used, so it's expected that surgical activity can be recovered in the Major Outpatient Surgery Unit and Verge de Lluc reopened in March.

The de-escalation process also means personnel who were deployed to other areas to reinforce staffing levels can be recovered.

"We are already adapting the intervention of patients to the resources that are released and we have a waiting list operating morning and afternoon," explained Marta de la Cruz, Deputy Director of the Surgical Area.

After the pandemic the enormous task of recovering non-Covid patients will begin.

"The situation has severely impacted us and we will need time and staff to help with the readjustment of services," said Dr. Ernest Sala, who asked for resources to be maintained to cope with the ongoing situation, saying “it will end with the discharge of the last patient.”