ReportageWith an incidence rate of 625 per 100,000 inhabitants, Corsica is suffering the fourth wave of the pandemic. Almost 90% of hospitalized patients, whose average age is 64, were not vaccinated.
Glued to his screen, Doctor André de Caffarelli monitors the emergency control panel of the Bastia hospital center, in Haute-Corse. During the night, 43 people crossed the threshold. On Monday August 16, the computer’s chromatic scale is dominated by coarse blue strips, a sign that many patients are still waiting. Another screen indicates that two people positive for Covid-19 have just been admitted to the reception area, where the initial diagnosis is made.
“In emergencies, the crisis is everyday, but in summer, balancing the summer flow and the Covid is a mess. We spend our time juggling! “, sighs the head of the emergency department, while four stretchers on which the overnight patients are installed are parked side by side in the large adjoining room for conventional emergencies. “The emergency department dates from the creation of the hospital forty years ago. It is designed to accommodate 25,000 passages per year and we are at 35,000 ”, continues the doctor of Cafarelli.
The establishment is particularly under tension since the outbreak, at the beginning of July, of the Delta variant on the island, with the multiplication of clusters in Balagne, 60 km from Bastia. Across the island, the profile of patients with Covid-19 has become younger: now, the average age is 55 and a half in intensive care and intensive care and 63.9 years in conventional hospitalization, according to the bulletin of the regional health agency (ARS) of August 16.
With an incidence rate of 625 per 100,000 inhabitants on August 13, almost more than double the national average, Corsica is at the forefront of the fourth wave. An additional tension, while the population of the island (340,000 inhabitants) traditionally doubles in mid-August, at the peak of the tourist season. However, the majority of infected people are Corsican residents (80%), according to the ARS.
“There is the fed up because it never ends”
“The fourth wave was sudden and seems to go on and on”, predicts Doctor Nicolas Mondielli, 32, in charge of the Covid-19 unit which then receives thirty-three patients. To cope with the influx of patients, an additional wing was opened last week. “It’s constant pressure: there are five new entries a day. We have never reached this number and, for my part, I have never announced so many deaths. Last week it was one a day ”, emphasizes the practitioner. “It is psychologically very difficult for the relatives of the deceased because they cannot accompany him to the end”, testifies Cindy (who did not wish to give her last name), nursing assistant for eleven years, who admits to having shed tears in a room with a patient communicating on the phone with his daughter.
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