COSTA BLANCA hospital staff have been forced into quarantine after operating on a patient with COVID-19, after initial tests showed her to be in the clear.

All patients are obliged to take a PCR test before having an operation, but a less accurate ‘rapid’ test cleared a woman for the procedure at Villajoyosa’s Hospital Comarcal de la Marina Baixa.

A team from the ophthalmology department went ahead despite not knowing the result of the delayed PCR test.

The patient turned out to be positive for the coronavirus.

Medical staff including two eye surgeons, an anaesthetist, nurses, and theatre staff are now self-isolating at home.

A report in the Informacion newspaper says that at least a dozen workers at the Marina Baixa Hospital have been quarantined due to contact with patients who were cleared through ‘rapid’ testing, before a PCR test produced a different result.

Marina Baixa health department manager, Rosa Louis Cereceda, said: “Delays in getting PCR results are producing unwanted situations, but staff are told to carry out operations on patients on the basis that all of them have COVID-19.”

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