AN emergency field hospital has received its first COVID-19 patients as health services in Alicante Province struggle to cope with increasing coronavirus cases.

The field hospital was erected next to the Alicante General Hospital last spring to deal with an expected overflow of infections during the first wave of the pandemic.

80 beds at the facility were never used in 2020, but the hospital did host PCR testing as well as examinations of some people recovering from the coronavirus.

Figures released from the regional health authority on Saturday(January 16) showed 1,314 people admitted to Alicante Province hospitals with the coronavirus.

179 patients are having to receive treatment in intensive care units.

On December 24, hospitalisations stood at 376(91 in intensive care) ahead of the festive season before families and friends came together to celebrate the holiday.

The resulting leap in virus cases has seen the Alicante field hospital fully pressed into action, as hospitals say they are close to full with coronavirus cases.

The temporary hospital will deal with recovering patients aged over 18 who have received acute hospital care, but who have now tested positive for COVID-19.

The recent cold weather has also seen extra work done on the hospital’s air conditioning system to ensure a ‘comfortable’ temperature for patients and health staff alike.

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