La Palma General Hospital joins Tenerife hospitals in activating emergency Contingency Plan due to numbers of covid cases needing admission

Updated 22 July: Sanidad has now also activated its Contingency Plan for La Palma General Hospital so as to react to the increased demand for inpatient assistance needed because of covid. 

Original post 19 July: Sanidad (Canarias) has activated the health system’s Contingency Plan in its largest hospitals because of the increased demand being placed on it currently by covid cases requiring hospital admission. In Tenerife, the hospitals concerned are Candelaria and HUC (University Hospital). This is what will be behind the recall of staff from the now closed El Mojón mass vaccination point,

We have been taught that case numbers alone are no longer a good indicator of the situation on the ground since the situation now is very different to over a year ago when it was still early days and no-one really knew much about the virus or its effects. Now, with increasing vaccination rates and testing including test surges, case numbers alone don’t show what’s happening as well as hospital admissions and, especially, intensive care figures. In that latter respect, Tenerife’s hospitals have also rung alarm bells because we have the vast majority of intensive care patients in this island. Obviously not all are covid patients, but covid is seriously challenging health services here.  

A small but significant percentage of those admitted have already had their double dose of whichever vaccine they had and, in this area too, knowledge is expanding. They say now, for instance, that it seems Pfizer isn’t so great against the Delta variant while AZ is suspected as potentially struggling against the Beta variant which, it’s considered, is the real reason for Amber Plus being applied to France right now. Other serious voices express loud concern that opening up before vaccination is at a critical rate above 75% or so creates ideal conditions for a variant to emerge that no vaccine can deal with.

Those calling for case number assessments to be replaced by hospital admission/ICU cases – usually on the grounds that they are lower and undermine the health message which they dislike so much – can now see that their own calls are going to serve them badly because the figures are dreadful. And so, on the day that thirteen flights arrive in Tenerife from a UK celebrating so-called Freedom Day, many here will be balancing the cheers from the tourism lobby with significant concern about behaviour that already indicates many, especially among younger age groups, believe that normality has returned. In some of the most famous words ever spoken in English, they think it’s all over. Let’s hope the answer isn’t “it is now”.