Stricter Covid measures "attractive" for hospitals
From hospitals' perspective, additional measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus are attractive, Ernst Kupers of the national coordination center for patient distribution LCPS said to broadcaster NOS. The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands started to decrease, but pressure is still high on hospitals. At least five hospitals in Zuid-Holland had to stop taking in new patients on Monday because they simply had no more room, AD reported.
According to Kuipers, additional measures now will have no effect on the height of the hospitalized Covid-19 peak or when that peak will be reached. But they will accelerate the decline in Covid-19 related hospital admissions, and that is beneficial for regular care. "But the cabinet must also weigh other aspects, I only speak from the point of view of healthcare," Kuipers said to NOS.
On Monday there were 2,545 coronavirus patients in Dutch hospitals, 52 more than on Sunday. Of them 1,958 were in nursing wards and 587 in intensive care. The increase in hospitalizations is slowing down. "The start is here, but the increase is not over yet. It has not stopped yet," Kuipers said. Last week the number of hospital admissions rose by 13 percent, in the weeks before the increases were between 30 and 45 percent.
Kuipers expects that hospitalizations will level off within a few days, followed by a decline. "It must level off quickly, and the decline must be substantial, otherwise we will run into problems with regular care that can no longer be postponed," Kuipers said. Currently, regular care throughout the country has been scaled down by around 30 percent. "We want to return to the old level as soon as possible." Addition measures are therefore attractive from hospitals' perspective, he said.
Hospitals themselves are also calling for more measures as the pressure on them increases.The Albert Schweitzer hospital in Dordrecht, the Franciscus hospital in Rotterdam, the Ikazia Hospital in Maasstad, and the IJsselland Hospital in Capelle aand en IJssel all had to stop taking in patients on Monday because they were full, according to newspaper AD. Some patients had to spend the night in the emergency room, as there were no space in the nursing wards or other nearby hospitals. The Beatrix Hospital in Gorinchem was also approaching a patient stop.
Prime Minster Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge are expected to announce stricter measures against the coronavirus in a press conference on Tuesday evening. The expectation is that they will close museums, theaters, cinemas, theme parks and zoos for two weeks, and discourage travel abroad in the coming months. Social gatherings will also likely be further limited.