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  • A health worker checks COVID-19 patients, Lima, Peru, Jan. 1, 2020.

    A health worker checks COVID-19 patients, Lima, Peru, Jan. 1, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @47whitebuffalo

Published 12 January 2021
Opinion

Health authorities warned that the average age of admission for severe COVID-19 patients has dropped alarmingly due to the relaxation of health measures.

Peru's Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SPMI) on Monday warned that intensive care units (ICU) are collapsing nationwide due to the increase in severe cases amid the second wave of COVID-19.

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In Lima and Callao provinces, there are only six ICU beds with ventilators left, according to the latest report from the Health Ministry (Minsa). 

In the capital city, 37 severe patients are waiting to be admitted to the Villa Mongut Hospital. Meanwhile, there are three ICU beds available in Minsa hospitals and one in the private sector.

"Medical devices are becoming scarce because some of them are failing. They did not get preventive maintenance because hospitals have been working for over nine months in a row," SPMI president Jesus Valverde said.

The specialist also warned that Peru "does not have human resources to face the second wave of contagion. The pandemic has shown that there is a lack of intensive care physicians throughout the country."

The government "must reinforce the primary care service and the early detection of COVID-19 cases to prevent the increase of severe patients," he emphasized.

Peru's Health Insurance (EsSalud) noted that an increasing number of young patients are being intubated due to COVID-19.

"The average age of admission for severe SARS-COV-2 patients has dropped alarmingly due to the relaxation of health measures," EsSalud stated.

The country does not yet have a date to begin mass vaccination. However, health authorities informed that the distribution and application of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine will be free of charge throughout the country.

 
 
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