A HOSPITAL in Malaga is scrambling to find replacement doctors and nurses after an outbreak of coronavirus among staff.
A total of 68 employees from the intensive care unit at the Malaga’s University Regional Hospital have all tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the staff Christmas party on December 1.
Some 174 people attended the gathering and all those who tested positive had antigen tests or the third booster vaccinations before going to the party
Health authorities in Andalucia are now recommending that hospital staff do not celebrate Christmas parties in order to minimise the spread of the virus.
Everyone affected has been contacted, traced, and is self-isolating, health authorities added.
The Andalusian Health Service has also made it clear that there has been no outbreak among hospital patients and emphasised that the first results of positive cases among infected health workers rule out the presence of the Omicron variant.
And health bosses have denied positive cases among hospital patients as a result of the staff outbreak.
A statement by Andalusian Health Service said: “We just want to highlight our support for the magnificent work and dedication that the Malaga and Andalusian healthcare community is showing.
“The public must be calm and trust those who continue to take care of us in this pandemic.”
The region of Andalucia has registered the highest number of new COVID-19 infections since the end of August, with 1,638 positive cases reported in its latest balance, marking the fourth consecutive day where the number of infections exceeded 1200.
The incidence rate continues to rise in Andalucia, jumping 10.6 points in recent days and now sits at 135.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
While 91.8% of the Andalucian population over 12 years of age have been fully vaccinated.
On Monday Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez urged citizens to be vigilant in the run-up to Christmas.
“We must not lower our guard,” he said in Madrid.
Spain’s average cumulative incidence rate has now reached 248 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days, a figure classified as low risk.
Seven territories, however, have already reached medium risk according to the Health Ministry’s new traffic light system.