Second wave's first Covid patient transport to Germany delayed by fog
For the first time since May, a coronavirus patient was prepared for transfer from a hospital in the Netherlands to one in Germany. The intensive care patient was expected to be transported by an air ambulance at 9:30 a.m. from a hospital in Almere, a flight which was delayed due to fog. A second patient transport was expected later in the day.
The acute care system has seen the total number of Covid-19 patients quadruple in Dutch ICUs over the past month to 463. The hospital total, also including non-ICU patients with the coronavirus disease, has jumped by 420 percent since Sept. 23, data from patient coordination office LCPS showed.
“The first wave was a tidal wave. It had a very high wave crest, but then it subsided. This is more of a tsunami, the wave height is not that high, but the water pressure that comes after it goes on and on,” said Ernst Kuipers, the chair of the Dutch acute care providers network during a press conference on Thursday.
During the press event he said the first patient transfers to Germany would take place by the end of this week. He predicted coronavirus hospital admissions in the Netherlands would likely to increase for at least another week.
“It is taking too long before to see the effect of the coronavirus measures. That means that the number of hospital admissions will continue to rise for longer,” Kuipers said. Hospitals have already scaled down care unrelated to Covid-19 by a national average of 20 percent, with harder hit regions cutting services faster than elsewhere.
During the first wave of coronavirus infections, German hospitals accepted 58 Covid-19 patients who were transferred from a Dutch intensive care facility. Hospitals in Germany had also made themselves available to assist their counterparts in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain at a total cost to that country’s medical system of 20 million euros.