ICU patient numbers to reach manageable levels by early May
The number of patients in intensive care in the Netherlands is expected to drop to around 1,200 on May 1st, according to a letter the government's Outbreak Management Team wrote to the Ministry of Public Health Welfare and Sports. That will be 700 coronavirus patients and 500 patients with other health problems, RTL Nieuws reports.
On Wednesday Diederik Gommers of the association for intensive care NVIC said that once ICU patient numbers return to 1,200 total, ICUs in the country will be able to again operate "according to our own quality standards".
Normally Dutch hospitals have around 1,150 beds for patients who need intensive care. That was a increased to 2,400 due to the coronavirus pandemic - 1,900 beds for Covid-19 patients and 500 for other patients. Figures released by Dutch patient coordinator LCPS on Wednesday showed that 1,303 intensive care patients being treated for Covid-19.
In a press conference on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Mark Rutte stressed that the declining ICU numbers do not mean that all measures in place to curb the spread of this virus can be dropped. "I don't see the normal society that we had returning in the short term. The one and a half meter society is the new normal," Rutte said, referring to social distancing measures in place.