File photograph of the Regional Hospital, formerly the Carlos Haya, in Malaga. / SUR

Extra healthcare workers hired after Covid breakout amongst 70 intensive care unit staff at Malaga hospital

The staff at the Regional Hospital tested coronavirus-positive after a Christmas meal. The health authority has confirmed there has been no outbreak among patients and ruled out the presence of the Omicron variant

ÁNGEL ESCALERA

The Andalusian Health Service (SAS) has hired extra staff, especially nurses and nursing care technicians, to fill the gaps in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Regional Hospital of Malaga caused by the self-isolation of the regular staff after being infected with coronavirus.

So far, there are 68 confirmed positives - although it is feared the number could rise - following a departmental Christmas meal was held on 1 December with 174 people attending. However, the breakout could also have its origin in nursing exams on 28 November. The staff infected are reported to be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, similar to those of a cold.

Hospital patients

SAS sources have said that the reinforcement of personnel will be immediate and intensive care service levels in the Regional Hospital are guaranteed. The authority has also made it clear that there has been no outbreak among hospital patients and emphasised that the first results of positive cases among infected health workers rule out the presence of the Omicron variant.

Staff free time rules

Sources have also reminded that the SAS has already issued precautionary recommendations to health professionals since the beginning of the pandemic, advice that is reiterated whenever there are increases in incidence rate. However, they also stressed that the SAS does not have the power to prohibit any activity in the free time of staff.

A SAS statement said: “In this case, as in others, we just want to highlight our support for the magnificent work and dedication that the Malaga and Andalusian healthcare community is showing,” adding “The public must be calm and trust those who continue to take care of us in this pandemic”.