The Generalitat sets up a field hospital in Lleida after detecting more than 300 cases in one week

The evolution of the coronavirus epidemic in Lleida is complicated. The cases detected have multiplied in recent days and, although confinement is currently being ruled out, the Health Department has already set up a field hospital to decongest the city’s main hospital, the Arnau de Vilanova. “The income makes us think that we have to act,” said Minister Alba Vergés this Friday.

The Medical Emergency Service (SEM) has set up next to the hospital a Mobile Health Area with capacity for 105 people. The objective of the device is to support your ER. It will serve to screen suspects, who will undergo a PCR test and will be referred to the hospital, if they are serious, or to their home or other equipment where they can quarantine.

The transmission of the coronavirus in the province of Lleida has been the main concern of the Generalitat Health Department for weeks. At the moment there is no perimeter closure, as was done in the Conca d’<2MASCULINE>dena, nor a turn back in the de-escalation, as was done in neighboring Huesca, but this Friday, the Minister Vergés has raised the tone of her speech . “Before telling them to stay home and not move, we ask that they slow down and do only what they have to do with great caution,” he said.

First in an interview in Catalunya Ràdio and then in a press conference from the Lleida hospital with the mayor Miquel Pueyo, Vergés has reported that there are already eight outbreaks detected in the region and that the “significant” increase in cases is beginning to notice in the beds of the Arnau Hospital in Vilanova de Lleida. In this sense, he has asked the population of the neighboring regions of Aragon not to go to this hospital as much as possible (they usually represent 10% of his patients), but to go to Barbastro.

Vergés has put numbers to the pressure that the Arnau de Vilanova currently receives. From the 6 hospitalizations and 4 ICU admissions on June 22, it has gone to 21 hospitalizations and 6 in the ICU.

“The most important thing is that citizens take it very seriously. In a week or two, the outlook can change and wreak havoc,” said Vergés. The data is not encouraging: in a week, infections have doubled in the health region, from 167 to 325, according to Salud.

Figures from the Ministry of Health for the province show that the weekly average of daily cases per 100,000 inhabitants, as of June 24, was 13, triple that of seven days earlier. That day 123 contagions were detected in the region, the record since the start of the pandemic, although the Generalitat qualifies that it is partly explained by the current greater capacity to make diagnoses. “We are detecting the cases very well and we have the diagnostic capacity to be able to follow the transmission chains,” said the minister.

The outbreaks detected in Lleida are currently eight and affect several fruit and vegetable and agri-food companies, an elderly people’s residence, a block of flats in the Josep Solans square and the Jericó temporary shelter. In the latter, 21 positives have been diagnosed. In the facilities for people who need to be quarantined there are currently 120 people.

Complaints of quarantine breaches

The Assembly of Neighbors of the Historic Center of Lleida has criticized in a statement that the precautionary and preventive measures against infections have not been maintained in the neighborhood. Members of the Assembly have assured that the confinement that should be done in the Jericó hostel and the Josep Solans square “is not such” since “the entry of people from these two buildings is ongoing”.

According to ‘Som Veïns’, in the Josep Solans building, where in principle all the neighbors are confined due to an outbreak, a narco-apartment is located in which drugs continue to be sold.

Mayor Pueyo has responded to these complaints, assuring that the Josep Solans block is not entirely confined, but only some of its tenants. And that in a shelter for temporary homeless people there are 50 people confined with surveillance at the door.

Pueyo has taken the opportunity to appeal to the population not to go to Lleida to work in the fields. More seasonal workers than ever are found these days sleeping on city streets or in municipal facilities (260 people in the City Hall sports center). “In the same way that the sector asked for arms at the time, please do explain that due to the volume of production and the decrease in work due to the storms, no more hands are needed to work,” he asked. “It is not at all desirable for more people to travel to Lleida than there are,” he said.