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News > Bolivia

Bolivia's Crisis: Hospital Will No Longer Receive Patients

  • Corpse abandoned on a street. The sign reads,

    Corpse abandoned on a street. The sign reads, "R.I.P. Died from COVID-19, 7 days ago" | Photo: Twitter/ @fmcapitalsalta

Published 9 July 2020

The Health Ministry ordered that "mild cases" be discharged to enable beds for new COVID-19 patients.

La Paz City’s Obrero Hospital director Raul Villanueva Wednesday confirmed that his institution will no longer receive COVID-19 patients because its ability to offer services has collapsed.


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"There is no more capacity. The coronavirus patients area is collapsed. We have 80 people there,” Villanueva told local outlet Pagina Siete.

"We don't have enough reagents. We do not have human resources because some of our staff got sick. We do not have oxygen and there is no space to attend to patients with respiratory pathologies,” he added.

The case of the Obrero hospital, however, is not the only one in this Andean country. To enable beds for new patients, Bolivia's Health Ministry ordered that COVID-19 isolation or recovery centers discharge patients who have not presented clinical symptoms and patients who have been admitted with the "mild cases" criteria.

"These patients must remain in their homes for an observation period until the corresponding laboratory tests are done," the Health Ministry ordered.

La Paz City Mayor Luis Revilla warned that Cotahuma and La Portada hospitals, which have been enabled to care for patients with COVID-19, are already full. To illustrate his city's dire situation, he also mentioned that 300 patients are hospitalized at the Real Plaza Hotel.

In the last 24 hours, Bolivia again set a daily record of infections with 1,439 COVID-19 patients. In this week, the coup-born regime led by Jeanine Añez could not implement forceful measures to fight the pandemic, which even affected its Health Minister Eidy Roca.

In the country's most populous cities such as Santa Cruz, El Alto, and Cochabamba, hospitals and other health centers do not have the conditions to continue serving COVID-19 patients and warned that they will be forced to close or limit their services to emergency care.

In Cochabamba, the situation is dramatic as there are cases of people who die on the street and of families who must wait days to bury or incinerate the dead.

As of Thursday morning, Bolivia had reported 42,984 COVID-19 cases and 1,577 deaths.

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