Intensive care expects 500-1,000 coronavirus patients next week

The Dutch association for intensive care units NVIC is expecting between 500 and a thousand new Covid-19 patients next week. In order to prepare, patients currently treated in ICUs in Noord-Brabant will be moved to hospitals in less affected areas, the association said in a statement.

On Wednesday evening, the NVIC reported that 177 coronavirus patients were being treated in ICU. The association did not give a reason for the expected spike.

Earlier this week Minister Bruno Bruins for Medical Care reported that, with some measures, the Netherlands can have 1,500 ICU beds available. NVIC director Diederik Gommers told parliament on Wednesday that hospitals are working on increasing this capacity to two thousand.

Most Covid-19 patients being treated in an ICU are in the Amphia Hospital in Breda, NOS reports. Today, five of the 13 patients will be moved to hospitals outside Brabant. "We do this as a precaution. It's not that we can't cope anymore, but we expect a new wave of patients to come next week," a spokesperson said to NOS.

The Elisabeth-TweeSteden in Tilburg hospital is also looking into how many patients can be transferred to other hospitals. The number of Covid-19 patients in its ICU has been stable for a number of days, but the hospital also expects an increase in in the coming days, according to the broadcaster.