The intensive care specialist in the COVID-19 region worst affected in Belgium told Sky News that he fears the moment when the hospital is full and he has to choose who will live and who will die.
Dr. Laurent Gadot says the situation has gotten so bad that many people now call it the “New Lombardy,” referring to The most affected part of Italy During the first wave of the epidemic crisis.
He works for CHC Montlegia, which has one of the largest intensive care units in Liège in the heart of the southern region of Wallonia – as hospitals struggle to cope with the number of Corona Virus The patients.
Every family is currently assigned to Covid-19 Patients in the unit are full, and Dr. Gadot says he dreads having to make painful decisions.
He told Sky News: “What I fear is the moment when the hospital is filled with patients and we have to choose which patient is able to survive and which patient is unable.”
“Actually when I’m in my bed, when I think about it, it’s what I don’t want.”
On the glass door after the glass door in the corridor where we speak, there are large orange signs saying “COVID is Confirmed”.
Inside each room we see patients attached to ventilators, lying on their stomachs to help them breathe.
Or in the case of a young patient in his twenties, sitting in a chair.
When we pass one room, we see a painful scene.
The patient is about to die. Family members press their faces towards the window while a loved one dies, unable to be in the room at those last moments.
Dr. Gadot says many families will experience the grief of COVID-19. Cases are increasing rapidly across generations.
“In Liège, there are up to 25% of positive tests currently for all people who come for testing,” he said.
“So one in four tests is positive. So, given the rate of contamination over the past two or three weeks, we know we have to face a wave of hospitalization to what we see in the pollution figures.”
He says more intensive care beds will have to be set up, but as in other hard-hit cities across Europe, finding nurses and medical staff to help overcome that will be a major stress.
The Belgian Minister of Health warned that the country is approaching A. The COVID-19 ‘tsunami’ There may come a point where the government is unable to control what happens.
All of that will sound alarm bells for the United Kingdom, which is a few weeks late Belgium When it comes to Coronavirus.
Minister of Health Matt Hancock He cited Belgium as a model to look for in its handling of the virus.
But it is now seeing 10,000 cases a day and health professionals are dreading what they may have in the coming weeks.
At an ambulance station in Liege, Red Cross medics disinfected their cars after transporting suspected COVID-19 patients to hospital.
Teams operate only coronavirus ambulances to help put pressure on the health service.
One medic, Luca Amato, tells us that they are seeing more and more younger patients in this second wave of COVID, including children. The current situation makes him extremely anxious.
He said, “Our main concern is the influx of people that we have seen for about a week. It has doubled or tripled. This is evidence that this flow continues and that we are in extreme conditions.”
He is pessimistic that recent restrictions in Belgium, including night curfews and restrictions on social media, will make enough of a difference.
“Unfortunately, nothing can be done about it and I think it will continue. These fears are the first thoughts that enter our minds.”
Medical staff in hospitals across Wallonia share these concerns. They’re preparing for how that translates into hospitalization in the coming weeks.