“The only thing that would work would be confinement”


The head of intensive care at the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), Jérôme Pugin, is not going by four ways when talking about the second wave.

“But if we have to return to the front lines, we will return there,” promises Jérôme Pugin, head of intensive care at the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG).

The head of intensive care at Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), Jérôme Pugin, believes that the only measure that would work to cut the peak of the second wave of coronavirus would be containment. It should be strict but short.

“We have not yet gone far enough in the restrictive measures that would cut a wave of this magnitude,” he said on Saturday in an interview with the Tribune de Genève. And to specify that “if we decide today, we will see the effects in three weeks. If we don’t, too… ”.

If he highlights a lack of visibility, the HUG doctor expects a wave that will last for months. What will happen, however, will depend on political decisions.

The message to the population is also always the same: respect social distancing, barrier gestures and wearing a mask. “This virus comes out of the lungs, putting up a physical barrier is effective, especially since it tends to stay in the air for a while”. For Jérôme Pugin, the mask should also be worn in closed areas and open spaces.

“Worrying” situation

The head of intensive care at HUG describes the situation in his department as “worrying”. “We currently have twelve Covid patients in very acute care, including seven in intensive care. From ten, it would be the alarm bell ”.

Jérôme Pugin underlines that at the rate of the acceleration of cases, the hospital will quickly exceed the threshold allowing to keep the other activities. “If we have to increase the number of Covid acute care beds again, we will probably have to give up other treatments, including certain surgeries. The nursing staff in this sector will then be able to come and give us a precious helping hand ”.

The teams are tired and less motivated, also notes Jérôme Pugin. The absenteeism rate is high. “We feel a little less solidarity, no one applauds us at 9:00 p.m., yet we need it now”. “But if we have to go back to the front, we will go back,” he promises.

The virus stays the same

The virus has certainly mutated a little, but not like that of the flu. It basically stays the same, notes the doctor. Fortunately, progress has been made in care: “With the volume of patients that we have received, we got hold of ourselves very quickly. We understood what should and should not be done ”. Clinical research has also developed.

The HUG are in discussions with the private establishment of La Tour for support, but will remain, as in March, the hospital dedicated to Covid. Coordination is also being put in place at the Romand level.


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