Permanent Covid wards, with almost 200 “burned” places throughout Friuli. That is, entire sections of hospitals dedicated to a pandemic that most experts now consider to be an endemic. That is, semi-normality. Spaces always sealed, with dedicated staff who are drained from other important activities of all the medical centers of Friuli Venezia Giulia and who can only take care of infected patients during a day. And all this because in Rome, at the Ministry of Health, there is no longer any talk of that change in the rules that could resolve the situation in a few hours.
“Inevitably – the regional vice president and councilor for health, Riccardo Riccardi spreads his arms -, the areas dedicated to the Coronavirus must be maintained”. At the moment in Friuli Venezia Giulia there are all the largest hospitals: Pordenone, Udine, Gorizia, Trieste. Each main medical center is forced to keep a wing dedicated only to patients who test positive for the swab, regardless of the other pathology they often suffer from. And the numbers of hospitalizations this time have not collapsed as in the past springs, that is those of 2020 and 2021. For two months, that is, from the beginning of March, the situation has practically always been the same: between 150 and 160 non-serious patients are being hosted from the Covid areas of Medicine. In fact, the problem does not concern intensive care, which by now practically never exceed ten units, or the medical areas where people without severe symptoms are housed. In recent years, however, there were also 20-30 Covid patients in hospitals, especially in the summer, with only one regional hub (in Trieste) for the pandemic. This fact gave relief to the staff and to the entire health system. But the entry into the panorama of the Omicron variant and its even more contagious “cousins” has changed the picture, with a contagion that is always on average high even if with few implications from a clinical point of view. More infected, however, also means more positive swabs within the hospitals themselves, perhaps referring to patients who do not have the symptoms of Covid but who have only been found positive.
The question is precisely this and Riccardi himself explains it well: «At this moment – he reveals – in Friuli Venezia Giulia there are mainly patients who have been found positive for Covid but who have little or nothing to do with the pandemic. They go to the hospital because they have to undergo other operations or treatments and they discover they have the virus because they take the usual swab ». And here it is, the problem. Several times, from Friuli Venezia Giulia, the urgency to change the rules and to provide hospitalization in the Covid area only for patients actually affected by the disease, that is with the classic symptoms known for two years, has reached the government’s ear. The others, that is, the only positive people, could continue their hospital path normally, perhaps only with some extra caution. This pressure came not only from politics, but also from the most important infectious disease specialists who manage the infectious disease facilities in hospitals in the region. A topic that however seems to have run aground and of which the government rooms are no longer even talked about. “We have not heard of any changes on the horizon,” confirmed Riccardi. In this way, however, the regional health system will continue to lose operators, since they will only have to be assigned to the Covid departments.