2. Ensuring sufficient physical infrastructure and workforce capacity
ENSURING SUFFICIENT PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND WORKFORCE CAPACITY is crucial for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, as there may be both a surge in demand and a decreased availability of health workers. The section considers the physical infrastructure available in a country and where there are shortages, it describes any measures being implemented or planned to address them. It also considers the health workforce, including what countries are doing to maintain or enhance capacity, the responsibilities and skill-mix of the workforce, and any initiatives to train or otherwise support health workers.
2.1 Physical infrastructure
The Institute for Health Policies prepared a model that aims to capture the peak of infection, based on several assumptions. This model, like all others, works with the hypothesis that the measures will remain the same throughout the simulation. Although the overall rate of infection is expected in the worst case scenario at a maximum of 3.1% (nearly 170000 people), this situation occurs only 110 days after the simulation began, and thus represents a significantly lower burden on the health system. However, most of these will by asymptomatic and not requiring any care at all. In terms of acute care, only 1,100 ICU beds would be required in this scenario.
Based on Institute for Health Policies, the Slovak Republic will be able to handle approx. 600 ventilated patients with COVID-19 without limitations. This capacities will be filled at the day 70 since the start of the research (March 28, 2020). Therefore, the government decided to procure 400 extra ventilators and prepare sufficient HR capacities. Nonetheless, this is the worst case scenario.
According to the latest update of the model, unless marginalised communities and social care services are infected, the peak of the first wave happened around mid-April. In fact, since April 24, Slovakia has recorded April a significant decline in new cases and its first day with zero new cases on May 9, 2020.