Amsterdam, Rotterdam venues preparing to take in Covid-19 patients

Congress center RAI in Amsterdam and event hall Ahoy in Rotterdam are looking into whether and how they can serve as emergency locations to take in patients during the coronavirus crisis, the two venues confirmed to BNR.

RAI CEO Paul Riemens met with Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema on Wednesday. Nothing concrete has been decided yet, he said to the broadcaster. "But if indeed it turns out that there will soon be too few beds, it is expected that an appeal will be made to the RAI," he said.

Ahoy was approached by local safety region Veiligheidsregio Rotterdam-Rijnmond. "This involved an inventory of the possibilities of our location as an emergency hospital. It goes without saying that we will cooperate if we meet requirements and there is need," a spokesperson for the event venue said to BNR.

Diederik Gommers of the association for intensive care units NVIC told parliament on Wednesday that the ICUs in the Netherlands will run out of beds in the very near future. The number of coronavirus patients in ICU is expected to increase to 1,100 next week, and ICUs will also treat some 500 patients with other health problems, Gommers said. "That is sixteen hundred beds and they are not there yet."