Situation at National Hospital Improves Skip to content

Situation at National Hospital Improves

By Larissa Kyzer

Emergency room
Photo: Golli. Staff in emergency attend to a patient.

The National and University Hospital is lowering its emergency level from ‘Alert Phase,’ to ‘Uncertainty Phase,’ which is the lowest preparedness level. This welcome news comes via a press release issued by the hospital on Wednesday.

The downgrade in emergency level comes as hospitalizations due to COVID-19 decrease. As of Wednesday afternoon, seven people, with an average age of 53, were hospitalized due to COVID-19, only one of whom was in intensive care. None of the patients were on a respirator. With fewer COVID patients to care for, the hospital has also been able to reopen Ward A7, which usually serves as the Infectious Diseases ward. A7 had been converted to a COVID ward when there were more patients than could be accommodated in the main COVID ward.

At the time of writing, there were 930 individuals in quarantine and 544 in isolation.

Improved situation comes in the wake of a difficult August

Only weeks ago, in mid-August, Intensive Care Units at the National Hospital were “at the breaking point.” Staff was stretched and exhausted and there was a real risk that if a non-COVID emergency situation occurred, the hospital would not have the resources to respond to it. Adding to the strain was the sudden influx of tourists: 15% of patients monitored by the COVID-19 ward in mid-August were foreign tourists, with 25-40% of patients in the ICU belonging to this group.

Most infections among children aged 6 – 12

On Wednesday, RÚV also reported that the highest number of COVID-19 infections are among children aged 6-12. At the time of writing, 139 children in this age group were infected. Vaccinations are currently available to children 12 and older.

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