Flu causes chaos

CHAOTIC SCENES at Faro Hospital dominated Portuguese television news bulletins for two days last week, after the high influx of flu sufferers left the hospital struggling to cope with the arrival of ambulances.

On February 7, some patients could not be taken inside the hospital when ambulances arrived due to lack of space and were kept inside the vehicles for around an hour before being admitted.

Despite the scenes, the hospital’s clinical director, Larguito Claro, guaranteed that the situation was under control. “We cannot perform miracles, patients need to lie down, they cannot lie on the floor,” said Claro.

The Resident contacted Faro Hospital this week to find out if the situation had improved. A spokesman said: “Yes, patient numbers are back to a normal level now. The measures that have been taken by the Algarve health authority, which include the extension of opening hours at Faro’s Centro de Saúde have definitely made a difference.” (See article Health authority takes emergency action over flu epidemic on p. 7 for more information.)

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