RESIDENT, Ray Kearney, from Orihuela Costa has sent a plea to the City Council to provide more Covid testing as the municipality starts to experience an increase in cases.
Orihuela Costa has had very few Covid-19 cases up to the end of October, however, there are now many new infections every day and these new cases are not being attended to in an efficient manner. This steep rise in cases is particularly serious here because the number of people over 60 living in Orihuela Costa is very high, and so the potential for serious illness among this age demographic could put a tremendous strain on the health service in health area 22. In general, these pensioners are from abroad and they do not have family support here.
Businesses in Orihuela Costa have meticulously followed the strict government guidelines but they are unfortunately having to close down because there are no tourists, the resident population is living cautiously and frugally, and the government is not helping.
More than 50 percent of the businesses in the hospitality sector, who were operating in 2019, have now gone out of business. Obviously, owners, staff, entertainers and suppliers are also suffering as there is no real backup for them.
At the moment there is a huge backlog of people needing tests with some having to wait for a week or more, followed by at least two days to receive their results. We believe that there are not enough resources allocated at present to the testing process, forcing hundreds of people in business to have €40 Antigenos tests in Imed and Quiron Torrevieja.
This is not correct; workers and business owners are paying into the social security system but they cannot get an appointment for a PCR test in their local health centre and they end up paying private companies for some short-lived peace-of-mind. Additionally, communication between private hospitals and Salud Publica is totally inadequate and inefficient.
Widescale and easily accessible PCR and Antigenos testing are essential now to prevent increased infection rates along with high hospital and UCI admissions and ultimately deaths. Appointments for tests should be available within 24 of the first contact and results also within 24 hours with clear information and instruction given at each point of contact. Follow-up control calls for those who have tested positive need to be made every 48 hours.
Can we suggest using an outdoor tent-like structure (for proper ventilation) beside the Aguamarina medical centre with sufficiently trained staff to carry out 300-500 tests per day, seven days a week?
We envisage that 8-10 staff would be needed to carry out these tests and to label and store the tests properly. Vital to this process is the booking of appointments and giving results on dedicated phone lines.
Thank you for considering our urgent plea for more testing.
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