State and private hospitals can carry out scheduled surgeries and admissions from tomorrow, provided only 60% of bed capacity is used, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.
The move marks another gradual step towards normality.
So-called ‘cold cases’ had been postponed as the public health system took on the role of battling coronavirus and private hospitals dealt with remaining, urgent health cases.
This prohibition is being lifted under a decree enacted on April 30. Private and state hospitals can now carry out scheduled surgeries and take on cold cases on the basis of guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and provided they adhere to all the stipulated protective measures for health professionals, other employees and patients.
Under these guidelines, 40% of beds must remain empty. Provision must also be made for emergencies so that beds remain available from the 60%.
The 60% ceiling applies to all departments, including ICUs except for daily treatment centres.
Visits will continue to be prohibited in both public and private hospitals. Out patient clinics in hospitals will work only with appointments. Only the patient will be allowed in.
The Health Ministry said that depending on the coronavirus outbreak it may adapt its instructions and the ceiling on bed occupancy so as to minimise the risk of spreading the virus in the wider population.