3,581 people have been officially diagnosed with coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of registered infections to 82,780. Paramedics are expected to carry out thousands of tests every day, which seems to be impossible.
Telex reports that paramedics are having a hard time keeping up with all the testing, Zsolt Kusper, Chairman of the Trade Union of Hungarian Ambulance Workers said. He highlighted:
“It is getting challenging to keep up as the number of cases increase while we are actually dropping in number. More and more of us get infected, waiting to be tested ourselves.” Kusper believes the solution would be the establishment of testing points.
While the no. 1 priority of paramedics is emergency care, they are also responsible for the vast majority of coronavirus testing in Hungary, and they simply cannot carry out all these tests on time.
Paramedics work 12-24-hour shifts, but many of them do voluntary testing in their free time, because they cannot do enough during their regular shifts. The National Ambulance Service (OMSZ) is getting 5th and 6th year medical students involved in the testing processes to help the overworked paramedics.
Even though paramedics use protective equipment, they are exposed to getting infected. There are stations where all paramedics have coronavirus, and there are even more people waiting to be tested. Since the first outbreak of coronavirus in Hungary, 1.5% of paramedics have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Most of them are over the disease. Currently, 1% of Hungary’s paramedics personnel is in quarantine.
If the risk of infection occurs during a rescue control shift, the task is immediately taken over by another rescue control team. According to OMSZ, this does not cause any disruption. Wherever a call is received, the nearest appropriate rescue unit is alerted.