Extra coronavirus hospital needed now, says council

The National Council is calling on the Prince’s government to create a makeshift hospital in preparation for a surge in coronavirus cases in the Principality.
In an open letter to Minister of Social Affairs and Health Didier Gamerdinger on Wednesday 25th March, the council says the Principality must anticipate its “next move” in this crisis and the possibility that the Princess Grace Hospital Centre (CHPG) will be overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.
“In the event of saturation of the Covid-19 specialist beds, provision must be made for an additional operational arrangement in an adaptable building,” says the council. “We can no longer think in weeks or even days. Every hour counts to stop the pandemic and to find courageous and effective solutions.”
The letter was written by National Council President Stéphane Valeri, Vice-President Brigitte Boccone-Pagès and Dr Christophe Robino, President of the Commission for Social Interests and Miscellaneous Affairs (Cisad), on behalf of the 24 National Councillors.
“This letter aims to better prepare for the upcoming meeting of the Monitoring Committee between the Government and the National Council, requested by the Sovereign Prince, as part of the concerted analysis of this crisis linked to Covid-19,” according to a statement by the council.
The National Council is also asking the government to provide details about the shortage of masks in the Principality, calling for all workers who are likely to be in contact with the public to be supplied with masks. “There was clearly a lack of anticipation in this area, with no autonomous strategy for the Principality. We ask for clear, precise information with verifiable quantities and distribution date,” says the council.
The government must also increase the number of people it is screening for Covid-19, says the council, adding, “In Monaco, where health is a centre of excellence, it is unfortunate that the screening policy is not ahead of schedule. The WHO recommends to screen as much as possible, as was the case in South Korea…”
Regarding the use of chloroquine to treat patients, the council is calling for Monaco to “adapt an administrative standard to this emergency situation”.
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