Over the past weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic numbers in Malta have spiked substantially, and whilst we could argue that deaths were kept at a very low number, this is no longer the case. As it stands currently, we are no longer surprised to hear of a COVID-19 death or two a day. The reason for this unwelcome development is because the COVID-19 virus has infiltrated elderly care homes, making those who are vulnerable at imminent risk.
One of the elderly homes which has been the most impacted is the San Ġużepp home. Over a hundred people have been infected and close to half are positive! A significant number of the carers have also tested positive. This is indeed a recipe for disaster as can also be seen on an international scale. One of the examples is the United Kingdom which faced a torrid time in managing the pandemic once it infiltrated care homes, leading to large numbers of recorded deaths.
To mitigate this situation, the management of the home separated residents into groups and clusters, depending on the results of their swab tests. There are three different categories, including those who tested positive, negative and those that are in quarantine. This ensures that the different groups do not meet, and that new cases are controlled.
It has been reported that there are seven doctors catering for those who are infected, four of them being consultants, whilst the other three are general practitioners. Significant responsibility has been placed on these doctors due to the fact that they have ultimate authority on who should be transferred to Mater Dei for more care.
Although the situation at Dar San Ġużepp is not ideal, considering that it is understaffed, there is a commitment to regain control over the situation. Several precautions are being taken, including the swabbing of all employees and residents, once every three days.
This is indeed a dreadful situation, however some light at the end of the tunnel still prevails. There have been some reports of the first group of patients who have recovered. With that said, there are still over a hundred residents who are infected, which means that there is a certain degree of uncertainty both for them and their family members.
Although there have been reports of complaints by the family members of residents, Dar Sun Ġużepp has stated that the patients are in continued communication with their relatives.