Spaniards becoming numb to coronavirus deaths, nurse warns

By Luis Felipe Castilleja BARCELONA (Reuters) - The senior nurse in the intensive care unit of Barcelona's Sant Pau Hospital is anxiously watching the wards fill up and fears that Spaniards are letting their guard down against the coronavirus, numbed by the daily litany of deaths. Staff at the unit kept up a fast pace on Thursday. Wearing double masks, goggles and gowns, they fitted patients with tubes to assist their breathing or helped them into comfortable positions

Reuters January 22, 2021 00:12:11 IST
Spaniards becoming numb to coronavirus deaths, nurse warns

Spaniards becoming numb to coronavirus deaths nurse warns

By Luis Felipe Castilleja

BARCELONA (Reuters) - The senior nurse in the intensive care unit of Barcelona's Sant Pau Hospital is anxiously watching the wards fill up and fears that Spaniards are letting their guard down against the coronavirus, numbed by the daily litany of deaths.

Staff at the unit kept up a fast pace on Thursday. Wearing double masks, goggles and gowns, they fitted patients with tubes to assist their breathing or helped them into comfortable positions.

Spain has the world's fourth-highest number of new daily infections in a seven-day average, with 2.4 million confirmed total cases, according to a Reuters tally. It reported 41,576 new cases on Wednesday, while deaths rose by 464 to a total of 54,637.

"In the news they keep saying 300, 400 (deaths each day) and it looks like if they were talking about nothing," ICU supervisor Mar Vega told Reuters.

"I believe people are becoming numb to these figures. They hear them but it's like nothing is happening. People are not truly conscious of what we are going through."

Vega said the increase in hospitalisations reminded her of the pandemic's start last March and that medical staff risked burning out.

"It's been many months. We are very tired."

About 120 patients are currently hospitalised in Sant Pau for coronavirus, with 35 in the ICU, out of about 500 available beds, its director of intensive medicine, Dr Jordi Mancebo, said. These were the worst figures since after the first wave in the spring.

Catalonia region has the highest number of accumulated hospitalisations in Spain. New admissions have doubled in the past three weeks to 600, Mancebo said.

"It's very frustrating that there are people who minimize the importance of the pandemic," he said.

(Reporting by Luis Felipe Castilleja, additional reporting and writing by Joan Faus,; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Angus MacSwan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.