Some thirty Health inspectors have begun visiting nursing homes in the province of Alicante with the aim of verifying that protocols required by the Ministry of Health are being complied with, to avoid the further spread of coronavirus infections.
The Ministry implemented this measure after registering 31 care home deaths in the province since the pandemic began: 26 in Alcoy, two in La Vila, two in Petrer and one in La Nucía.
In addition, there are now 13 residences in which positive cases of the disease have been detected amongst 82 elderly patients and 12 members of staff. There are currently 208 employees from these homes that are in quarantine for having been in contact with a positive case without adequate protection.
The objective of these inspections, said the Minister of Health, Ana Barceló yesterday, is “to provide greater control in the event of an incident.”
The outbreak in the Alcoy residence is now being attributed to a member of staff according to Barceló, who added however that they have not yet been able to determine the reasons why it has reached such a scale of virulence, with a total of 26 deaths.
Despite this, she stressed that “the proportion of deaths in the Alcoy residence is very similar to that in Torrent. The difference is that in Alcoy there are many more residents, 134.” The positive note is that, according to the data provided by the Ministry, there have now been two consecutive days in which no deaths have been registered in the centre.
Community Health say that it is still waiting to receive the rapid tests, which will allow tests to be carried out on a greater number of suspected cases, although it is unknown exactly how the shipments of the faulty test kits will affect the Valencian Community. When these arrive, they will be used to test social health professionals, users of nursing homes where there are cases or suspicions of coronavirus, and personnel who provide healthcare services. “When more arrive, that situation will be expanded to be able to complete the care,” said the Minister of Health yesterday.
The introduction of these tests will make a huge difference in the diagnosis of new cases due to their speed. Until now the so-called PCR kits have been used, which require processing in the laboratory at the Alicante General Hospital. Results take about five hours to produce. Rapid tests work like a pregnancy test and provide a result after just 15 minutes.