The situation with bed occupancy for coronavirus patients in the Vladimir region is worse than in neighboring regions. The Acting Governor Alexander Avdeev spoke about his intention to push for the construction of a rapidly erecting coronavirus hospital. Another urgent task for the health system of the region will be to increase the rate of vaccination. As for the possible introduction of restrictive measures, some of them seem inevitable. Now regional authorities are looking for a “golden mean”, trying not to harm business and not to let the health care system collapse.
“The increase in morbidity is significant. Unfortunately, I can say that the situation is not critical, but very alarming, because we have a very small stock of available beds. We still have it, but in other oblasts it is a little more. In some areas 10 – 15%, in ours 5 – 10%. In the near future we have to take a decision to reequip one of the buildings for a hospital ward that will have beds equipped with oxygen so that we will have such a reserve in case of emergency,” the Acting Governor told a briefing for journalists on October 7.
According to Avdeev, after the briefing, he will have a large medical meeting with the leadership of the regional health department and chief doctors of hospitals.
“The health issue is in the first place. Now I will have the chief physicians and the health department to address the top-priority tasks. There are about eight points, I will not name them now, but health care is the first area where we will work. Vaccination will be stepped up. It is not a 100% panacea, but it will reduce the burden on hospital beds and make it much easier for people to get sick.
It should be noted that a record number of coronavirus patients have now been hospitalized in the region, and the number of deployed beds is close to the maximum that the regional health care system is capable of. At the same time, neither the dynamics of morbidity, nor the dynamics of hospitalizations indicate that the peak of the fourth wave has been reached. If the situation continues to deteriorate at the pace of the past two weeks, within days, health care will face problems of a quality not experienced even in December 2020.
At the same time, the regional health authorities may face a separate problem of physical and mental exhaustion of medical workers who have been working in emergency mode for a long time. So far, no one from the authorities has raised this issue publicly, but the experience of Moscow suggests that the moral state of doctors at a certain point also becomes a serious factor.
Alexander Avdeev, the Acting Governor, told about the plans to request funds from the federal authorities for the construction of a rapidly erected hospital for patients with coronavirus. At the same time, the head of the regional administration stipulated that these are still plans, the discussion of which is still ahead.
"Also in the near future, hopefully, we will get approval. I wouldn't want it to be "Avdeev promised a covid hospital" after the briefing. I emphasize, I hope we get help in getting the application for a fast-build covid hospital approved. We'll be working on that right now. I don't have any approval right now, but I hope we get help. Because the situation across the country is critical. I think that our colleagues in the federal agencies will meet us halfway here. We are starting to work on this right now."
Recall that the Vladimir region was practically in second or third place from the end among all Russian regions in terms of vaccination rates during the entire period of vaccination. The current situation in health care is not least related to the lack of collective immunity of citizens. And in this sense, the restrictive measures sufficient for the more vaccination-friendly regions may not be sufficient for the Vladimir region. Alexander Avdeev publicly urged residents of the region to get vaccinated and not to neglect the requirement to wear medical masks in public places.
"An important in poll is vaccination. Now the plan is to work with the heads of district administrations to encourage people to get vaccinated. I myself have been vaccinated. I encourage people to get vaccinated. This in any case reduces the risk of severe disease. And it's even about the fact that even if you don't want to wear a mask, and I myself don't totally wear a mask, but where you can't exactly keep a social distance, where there's a large gathering of people, you have to wear a mask. We are always interacting with people, we cross paths a lot, we need to observe these measures.
The Acting Governor said that so far the region's leadership has not formed a position on the introduction of coronavirus restrictions and their nature. On one side of the scale is business and jobs, on the other side is the task of saving working health care.
"Regarding restrictions, I can't say; we're looking at it now. You can't go overboard here. We all don't want lockdown, but we don't want to have ambulances sewed up and unable to take a patient anywhere. We need to find a reasonable middle ground between compliance with health regulations and the work of businesses, institutions and entities. We are looking for the golden mean, we are relying on the experience of our neighbors and federal colleagues.