Wednesday, August 4

Prepared for the worst case scenario: local hospitals and morgues or neighborhood closures

An agent of the Civil Guard stops several cars during a control in Benigànim, at the beginning of the confinement of the municipality.  |

An agent of the Civil Guard stops several cars during a control in Benigànim, at the beginning of the confinement of the municipality. |

The Territorial Commission for Civil Protection of the Valencian Community has approved the “Protocol of municipal action in the event of a possible situation of territorial confinement”, that draws all the scenarios before a hypothetical aggravation of the pandemic and plans the measures to be adopted by the 542 town councils of the Valencian Community. Among others, the possibility of installing municipal field hospitals, creating local morgues in large-capacity spaces, and the possibility of municipal confinements – as has already been done in Benigànim, is foreseen. Elda or Petrer-, and even urbanizations or buildings.

The document, approved last Tuesday and to which INFORMATION has had access, foresees four possible scenarios: Total confinement of a municipality (1); Total confinement of a municipality plus collapsed ICUs (2); Confinement of a specific area or neighborhood within a municipality (3) and Confinement of a building or urbanization (4). The most serious situation described occurs in scenario 2, in which the supposed municipality with high infections is confined. In addition, it coincides with the collapsed intensive care units (ICUs) so “it is expected to increase the provision of medical services to seriously ill people” through several alternatives.

One of them would be install field hospitals or provisional in the municipality, taking advantage of “sports halls or open-plan areas”. The other option would be to “medicalize hotel establishments, an option that requires the collaboration of the respective owners.” In the event that there is “a high mortality rate, it will determine the installation of temporary morgues, taking advantage of large capacity infrastructures of the municipalities themselves.”

Civil Protection also warns that “in this scenario, a Psychological Support, therefore, efforts should be increased in this field ”. It is also added that “health services, social services and non-profit organizations dedicated to this care work should be strengthened.”

In scenario 1, the measures to be adopted are already known from the confinement experience: closure of social centers, casinos, bars and restaurants (except take away food), suppression of collective and educational activities. The consistories must create the Local Operational Coordination Center (Cecopal) which, coordinated with the regional Cecopi, must, among other needs, “ensure the supply of basic necessities for the population” and the necessary protection equipment for the Local Police and members of Civil Protection. It also warns about the possibility of infected and confined people who “do not have the help of family and friends” to activate “home care services” with all the guarantees for the people they help to care for.

205 municipalities lack an emergency plan

To face emergencies, the Valencian Community has had the Territorial Emergency Plan, which must have local replicas with the approval of this same planning at the local level. A territorial plan “are documents that establish the way in which they will be structured and organized to deal with emergencies that may occur in a territorial area (a flood like last week or a pandemic like this year) . Of the 542 municipalities in C. Valenciana, 337 already have this territorial plan compared to 205 populations that do not.

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