• Hospitals are returning to the levels prior to the start of the third wave

The situation in the province’s hospitals is returning to the levels prior to the start of the third wave of the pandemic, although they have not yet fully recovered their normal activity.

However, the number of patients admitted with coronavirus is now notably lower than it was a few weeks ago, both on the wards and in the Intensive Care Units (ICU), although in the latter the recovery is much slower.

It is largely the high occupation of the ICUs that prevents hospitals from regaining full normality. The General Hospital of Alicante, Sant Joan and Alcoy all still have critically ill patients in facilities that have been set up in recent weeks. Also, in Elche and in Torrevieja hospitals there are still many patients in the ICU. Given this, much of the non-urgent surgical activity has not yet been resumed.

Nevertheless, patient discharges have made it possible to free up space and return them to normal functions. Many of the hospitals had been treating coronavirus patients almost exclusively, while now the gradual decongestion makes it possible that some wards have been re assigned to their normal services once again.

In the General Hospital of Alicante there are now half of patients with covid-19 that there were last week. This Monday there were 63 people on seven floors, and in recent days two more floors have returned to normal. However, 24 patients remain in the ICU.

In Elche, the General Hospital and the Vinalopó Hospital have 137 patients, 97 of them on the ward and 40 in the ICU. You must go back to January 4 to find similar figures. In this roller coaster that has been the third wave, on January 26 Elche had 432 coronavirus patients with 70 in ICUs.

Also, in the Torrevieja Hospital, the number of patients on wards has dropped sharply, 16 at the moment, although in the ICU the decline is slower where there are 13 patients. It had 140 covid patients at the end of January, 25 of them in the ICU.

As a result of the pandemic the wait for surgery has risen to more than four and a half months with 65,400 patients waiting for operations in the Valencian Community, 5,562 more than in December.

As the third wave filled all available hospital beds in January the effects caused the suspension, from January 8, of all non-urgent operations. The reflection of this forced paralysis has been transferred to the list of patients awaiting a scheduled intervention.

With an average of 142 days wait (more than four and a half months) it is the worst data since September (151), the month in which it began to decline from the August peak (157) after the first wave of the coronavirus.

This delay means that 65,400 people in the Community are waiting for operations,5,562 more than the previous month.

The longest wait for operations is currently at Vinaròs where it is 221 days, while in Torrevieja, although 17 days longer than the beginning of the year, it is just 57 days.

By specialties, the longest wait in the community is for plastic surgery with an average of 220 days.