After two months of social quarantine, Poles have started flocking to hospital emergency wards, reports daily Rzeczpospolita.
“During the epidemic we had 30 patients a day, before it used to be around 100. Now it’s between 130 and 150,” Professor Andrzej Basiński, the head of the Emergency Department at the University Clinical Centre in Gdańsk, told Rzeczpospolita.
“Some patients were afraid to go to hospitals. Yesterday we treated a woman who has had chest pain for two weeks. Thankfully, it was not a heart attack,” he added.
Many hospitals are still working in the same manner as the last two months. Emergency wards have special buffer units set up to diagnose patients for COVID-19. In many, regular rooms had to be transformed into isolation rooms, which reduces the number of patients a given hospital can treat.
“Hospital directors cannot lift these restrictions as from an epidemiological point of view, the situation has not changed for weeks,” said doctor Marcin Pakulski, the former head of the National Health Fund. “Despite the economy being defrosted the daily number of infections is similar to previous weeks. And the information that face masks are not necessary anymore has made people less afraid to go and see a doctor,” he added.
Poland’s Health Ministry has appealed to patients not to ignore non-COVID-19-related illnesses and symptoms. “We especially urge people with cardiovascular diseases, we recommend visiting specialists and doing check-ups,” said Health Ministry spokesperson, Wojciech Andrusiewicz.