There are not enough nurses to treat 100 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, MUMN warned on Saturday, after it emerged that Malta’s ITUs can accommodate up to 100 coronavirus patients.

On Wednesday, Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci said that the ITUs at Mater Dei can take up to 75 patients. A further 25 ITU beds have been set up at the Gozo General Hospital.

But the Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses said in a statement that "there are no sufficiently trained nurses available for such a huge number of ITU beds in both hospitals."

It added that pressure on the existing nursing workforce, especially in ITU, was already having an adverse effect.

"Every ITU bed requires highly specialist nurses to manage ventilators and intensive nursing care. MUMN has requested a meeting with MDH management on this serious issue," the union's president, Paul Pace, said.

MUMN urged for enforcement and adherence to hand hygiene, social distancing and mask-wearing measures.

On Friday the government said that the wearing of masks everywhere except for home is now mandatory, and as from Monday, bars and clubs will shut by 11pm.

The new measures were announced hours after Malta registered a new record of coronavirus cases.

The union expressed concern over the daily increase of COVID-19 cases, saying this would result in more patients admitted to hospitals and further outbreaks within healthcare settings. 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us