To avoid an overflow of COVID-19 patients in hospitals, Czech officials are now flying them out of the country into Germany and Switzerland. Talks with Poland to accept patients are also ongoing.
Jan Hamáček, Minister of Interior, said the daily COVID-19 cases could breach the 20,000 level and become unmanageable.
“The situation is serious, we’re in a crisis scenario. Today, according to the experts, the number of daily new COVID-19 cases could approach 20,000. We’ll try to do everything to manage the situation.”
The Czech Republic has so far reserved at least 19 hospital beds in Germany and 20 in Switzerland. There are also discussions on hiring more outpatient staff to help treat people with more mild cases of the coronavirus.
Hospitals in the Pardubice region reportedly reached their limits of capacity on Tuesday, sounding the alarm to the Ministry. Hamáček said that “We can expect that other regions will have the same problems.”
Martin Netolický, governor of Pardubice, told Novinky that the hospitals were at a point where any new patients would have to be transported to neighbouring regions.
“The current state we’re in actually means that if there is another request for a bed in our hospitals, we will ask for help from another region. We’ll see how successful we will be, but other regions are also filling up.”
Currently, the region with the least amount of available hospital beds is Karlovy Vary, which has been pushing the idea of transporting patients to Germany for months now. On Monday, March 1st, 32 of the 36 ICU beds were occupied. In comparison, Prague had 90 out of 542 ICU beds available.
So far, health officials are blaming the unrelenting spread on the British mutation of the virus that is the same in nature but more contagious.