Emergency services might have to be limited, says medical team chief

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If the incidence of Covid-19 and the number of patients delivered to hospitals continues to rise, it will soon be necessary to reduce the possibility of providing emergency and urgent assistance, Liene Cipule, head of the Emergency Medical Service (NMPD), said in an interview on Latvian Television October 18.

She said there were occasions during the weekend when a row of NMPD cars formed outside the hospitals. Cipule stressed that hospitals were doing everything they could to find additional beds for Covid-19 sufferers. There have also been hospitals where no additional beds could be found. 

According to Cipule, the total hospital load is now above 80%, which is high. On Sunday, the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals passed the 1,000 mark. The sooner a decision will be made on reducing the spread of the virus, the sooner the hospitals will be able to cope with the load. 

“I very much hope we understand, resources are not endless,” the head of NMPD said. "The overload of the system will have an impact on overall health care and the provision of high-quality assistance. It will mean treatment will no longer be like before," explained Cipule.

Asked what decision the Crisis Management Council should take on Monday, Cipule said: “I hope they listen to the experts and their proposals will be taken, no matter how unpopular they are.” 

“No one has been prepared for such a crisis as it is now, neither medics nor politicians nor the public,” the head of NMPD said.

She said that only joint action would provide a solution - both medics, politicians, and the public must understand their role in overcoming the crisis. The coming months will be difficult and many people will suffer from limited health care. 

Cipule also stressed that vaccination against Covid-19 is the only fight against the virus. "Nobody is being put down on their knees. The virus doesn't need our emotions. It spreads from person to person and achieves its own. There are no emotions or other aspects to take into account. Only vaccination helps against the virus."

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