the labyrinth of tourists who have symptoms and cannot find where to swab

Daiana has six symptoms compatible with coronavirus, but he has been trying all Saturday morning to get a test done in Pinamar. “Because of Covid we do not attend,” they told him at the Bunge polyclinic that his social work covers him. At the party hospital, a doctor confirmed that what he has “is not angina” and suggested that he stop by the retirement center on Monday from 9 to 11 to have it swabbed. He goes to the municipality and finds everything closed. On Bunge avenue, the main one, there is an operation of the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health, but they only do a prevention campaign.

“What do you expect? Keep walking on the beach without knowing if it is infected?”Asks her boyfriend Mariano Tuero angrily (42). A few meters away, a boy waits to be treated for a leg infection and a woman for a prescription for a medicine. Also, there are those who wait for news of hospitalized relatives. They are all together in the same space.

At the Pinamar Hospital “Dr. Pepe Olaechea ” there are no delimited areas per pandemic protocol to prevent febrile patients or patients with respiratory symptoms from crossing with the rest. Nor is it a modular emergency area to attend to Covid-19 suspicions, such as the Febrile Emergency Units (UFU).

Patients waiting at the entrance to the Punta del Este community hospital.  Photo: Andrés D'Elia.

Patients waiting at the entrance to the Punta del Este community hospital. Photo: Andrés D’Elia.

When entering the guard, no one takes the temperature or spray their hands with alcohol, as is the case in many local businesses. There are no posters that mention the virus, only a printed sheet that asks for social distance and that no more than 3 people enter the place, except for the masks. The photo quietly looks from 2019.

Daiana Acuña (31) traveled from Flores at the end of December to vacation with her partner. On January 1, he began to feel bad, so he decided to go first to the community hospital in Pinamar and ask for a swab. “I have a sore throat, headache, fever, body fatigue, nausea and a dry cough”he explained.

On the other side, from the counter, they ask him to leave: “Here on guard there is no swabbing. The hospital takes over only in cases that require hospitalization ”.

A printed poster calls for social distancing upon admission to the hospital.  Photo: Andrés D'Elía.

A printed poster calls for social distancing upon admission to the hospital. Photo: Andrés D’Elía.

“But won’t a doctor treat me?”

-Only the person who cannot breathe. But on Monday at 9 in the morning for symptoms of Covid.

The young woman and her partner complain to the employee and get them to attend to her. “You have all the symptoms of Covid or a very strong flu,” says Daiana that the doctor told her. “He asked me to come back on Monday to swab at the Retired Center on the way back,” he adds. Meanwhile, paracetamol and “safe from close contact of people.”

In the last month, daily active cases they tripled in Pinamar. Went from 64 December 1 to 196 the first day of 2021. “It was with the arrival of tourism and the long weekend of December 8,” he explains to Clarion Mayor Martín Yeza (PRO) and adds that “until ten days ago, the party had 90 percent positive from Pinamar, and now it is 50, while the other 50 is from people who arrived with the season.”

“There is no agreement between the clinics and the hospital. Only in the event of saturation of intensive care, that we agree with Pinamed that they treat non-Covid patients, ”Yeza clarified.

Covid samples in the Labortorio Ejarque, some of the private ones carried out by PCR in Pinamar.  Photo: Andres D'Elia

Covid samples in the Labortorio Ejarque, some of the private ones carried out by PCR in Pinamar. Photo: Andres D’Elia

As for the swabs, which the municipality sends to analyze Mar del Plata, he assured that the public system does not take care of those who have prepaid: “We send them to a private laboratory, so as not to saturate the health system.”

“In the hospital there is the triage implemented by protocol ”, assured Yeza and risked that the attention problems registered by this newspaper could be due to human error by on-call employees.

Of the search operations in province territory, such as Detect, there is nothing in the district. Yes, “a municipal team, with a team of doctors who are beginning to establish contacts for the tracking,” said the mayor.

The care in the hospital, he said, was divided into non-covid, which is done in the traditional guard, and the “Hisopódromo”, in the Retiree Center, which “three months ago” was set up as the Covid point of care.

Two weeks ago, on Monday, December 21, Adrián (asks not to give his name) experienced a situation similar to that of Daiana. He had a sore throat, fever and fear of being infected with Covid-19 and of infecting his family at Christmas dinner.

At the Clínica del Bosque, where they now do PCR Tuesday and Thursday with a previous shift, and rapid antigen tests the rest of the days, They told him that they did not treat respiratory patients: “That they had made an agreement with the hospital and all respiratory matters were derived there, an agreement with the hospital?”

In Pinamar, Covid cases tripled in just one month.  In the image, the exercise laboratory.  Photo: Andres D'Elia

In Pinamar, Covid cases tripled in just one month. In the image, the exercise laboratory. Photo: Andres D’Elia

He went right to that public health center. To his surprise, the guard was waiting for a boy for trauma care, a woman and a person who had tested positive for Covid-19 a few days ago and still had symptoms. “When I introduced myself, I told them that I had compatible symptoms, hoping they would separate me, but no, they sent me to sit right there”.

I ask if there was any protocol. “It is what it is,” he remembers being told behind the counter.

In turn, he was treated by a doctor who told him that it was probably angina, not to worry, that he didn’t have to swab. He had a temperature of 38.1, in addition to the sore throat, but the professional settled the conversation, he relates: “Here anyone who has these symptoms can have Covid. If in 48 hours you continue to feel that way, we will see ”.

“I was very upset, because this is going to collapse very quickly in the prepaid system and in the public,” he assured this newspaper. Just in case, the test was taken privately by 4 thousand pesos. “Nobody takes charge here. And many are going to leave the health system with the risk of continuing to infect, “he says.

In the Labortorio Ejarque they did a peak of Covid tests on December 31.  Photo: Andres D'Elia

In the Labortorio Ejarque they did a peak of Covid tests on December 31. Photo: Andres D’Elia

Ejarque Laboratorio, on Shaw Avenue, is one of the places where they test for Covid-19 privately. The PCR test comes out 4 thousand pesos and the antigen test, with a saliva sample, another 4 thousand. On Thursday, December 31, they had a peak of rapid antigen tests.

“People wanted to test themselves before the end of the year dinner, many tested positive”, Says Roxana Ejerque, owner of the study center and invites Clarion to pass. At admission, four people have already accumulated, including a woman with Covid symptoms.

“Next weekend we will have a clearer picture, but now the number of tests due to the entry of tourists may increase a lot,” he said.

Pinamar. Special sent.

DD

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