An overrun of the capacity dedicated to COVID-19 patients within three weeks is more and more likely in Greater Montreal due to the sharp increase in hospitalizations. Already, nearly three-quarters of regular beds and two-thirds of those in intensive care are occupied in the metropolitan area.
The National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) released Thursday morning its most recent assessment of the impact of the pandemic on the hospital network. It is noted that the number of new cases of COVID-19 has increased by 17% over the past week, 17,980 having been discovered from December 28 to January 3, the period analyzed.
The increase in cases is, however, stronger among those aged 70 and over, the most vulnerable, reaching 27%. The Institute thus comes to predict that 876 new hospitalizations are expected, or 25% more than the previous week.
As progress is concentrated in Greater Montreal, INESSS concludes that, within three weeks, “there is a real risk of exceeding the dedicated capacities within the next three weeks” in the metropolitan region. The risk is evaluated at “more than 50%”.
“The shock treatment announced yesterday is to avoid this situation and avoid more load shedding,” responded the Minister of Health Christian Dubé. On Wednesday, it revealed in particular that all kidney transplants have been canceled to free the beds for patients with COVID.
Outside the metropolitan area, the situation seems to be easing. There is even a drop in new hospitalizations. Currently, 60% of regular beds and 30% of intensive care beds are occupied. Despite this apparent lull, INESSS does not rule out a risk of overflow in some hospitals.