Coronavirus patients in ICU nearing 1,200

Gurneys in a hospital corridor
Gurneys in a hospital corridorSimpleFotoDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

As of 9:50 a.m. on Thursday, a total 1,176 patients were being treated for coronavirus Covid-19 in intensive care units across the Netherlands, according to figures from foundation NICE. That is an increase of 24 ICU patients compared to Wednesday morning.

Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in the Netherlands, 1,548 patients with the coronavirus were admitted to intensive care. 199 of them died, and 51 recovered enough to be discharged from the ICU.

On any given day, around 500 ICU beds are also used for patients with illnesses other than the coronavirus.  

Hospitals are currently scaling up to 2,400 ICU beds, which means that intensive care patients are also being treated in other hospital departments outside the intensive care units, Diederik Gommers of intensive care association NVIC said to parliament on Wednesday.

He added that if more than 2,400 beds are needed, the Netherlands will be in trouble. "We don't know how to proceed further," Gommers said. Under normal circumstances, the Netherlands has around 1,150 beds available in intensive care.

Jaap van Dissel of public health institute RIVM told parliament that the peak of Covid-19 patients in ICU is expected in early May, and that the number of occupied intensive care beds will only dip back to the current around 1,200 in mid-July.

Van Dissel also said that the measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus seem to be working. The number of coronavirus patients reported to municipal health services GGD, admitted to hospital, and admitted to intensive care are all leveling off, he said. But he added that these are provisional figures based only on patients who were officially tested.