ICU assoc. not panicked by increasing Covid-19 infections

A hospital isolation room
A hospital isolation roomsudok1DepositPhotosDeposit Photos

The increasing number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands is not yet reason to panic, according to Diederik Gommers of the Dutch association for intensive care NVIC. "If young people keep a good distance from their parents and grandparents, the damage could be limited," he said to newspaper AD, referring to the fact that a significant number of new infections are among young people in their teens and twenties.

"In the Netherlands at the lowest point we still had 50 to 100 new infections every day, which is kind of a constant basis without too many extra hospital admissions. On top of that, we now see clusters caused by parties, barbecues, student parties and meetings of religious groups. These clusters need to be examined carefully, monitored by the GGDs. And the Netherlands has always been good at that eh, don't forget."

According to Gommers, Dutch doctors have learned a lot about the coronavirus since the first wave of infections. "With everything we know and have now, the pressure on the ICUs must decrease and we will be less likely to see people in intensive care," he said. For example, very sick patients are now given anti-inflammatory Dexamethasone. "When people take that, they are less likely to end up in ICU, and they need less oxygen in the regular hospital ward. With us, the medicine is already standard in the treatment protocol. You could even start with it if people are still at home, if the blood test shows that they can benefit from it."

Gommers also said that he agrees with the Outbreak Management Team's advice against a national obligation to wear face masks in public spaces. "Look where people get infected now: at home, in the private sphere, at parties with family, student parties: do you think people will wear mouth masks there? No," he said to the newspaper.