Covid-related ICU admissions expected to drop to acceptable levels in mid-December
If the current partial lockdown and additional measures the government announced on Tuesday work in reducing Covid-19 infections, the number of intensive care admissions should drop to the acceptable level of 10 per day by December 20, Jaap van Dissel of public health institute RIVM said in a briefing to parliament on Wednesday, NOS reports.
If schools close, intensive care admissions should drop faster and reach 10 per day on December 7. With the current measures, it will take until mid-January for intensive care admissions to drop to below 3 per day, Van Dissel said. He added that this is based on the assumption that the current measures are effective, which is not quite certain yet.
The current second wave of coronavirus infections is now just as high as the first wave, Van Dissel said. He expects that the current peak will last longer than in the first wave based on estimates of the number of contagious people. These estimates indicate that the second wave's peak of hospitalizations hasn't been reached yet, he said.
The number of Covid-19 patients in ICU is now lower than during the first wave. "But because the number of patients is increasing more slowly and possibly also decreasing more slowly, we have to take into account a higher total number of patients than in the first peak," Van Dissel said. RIVM estimates expect 25 percent more ICU admissions and 80 percent more hospital admissions than in the first wave.
The increase in hospitalized coronavirus patients is now slowing down, Ernst Kuipers of the national network for acute care LNAZ said to parliament. But he too expects the increase will continue for a while yet.
In the worst case scenario, if the number of infections continue to rise unabated, there will be 4,500 Covid-19 patients in Dutch hospitals in December, Kuipers said. That is much lower than last week's worst case scenario, when Kuipers expected 6 thousand hospitalized patients by next month.
In the best case scenario, in which the current measures are super effective in curbing the spread of the coronavirus, there will be 2,400 hospitalized coronavirus patients in the nursing wards in December. Currently there are 2,044 patients in the nursing wards.
Dutch ICUs are currently treating 609 coronavirus patients. Worst case scenario is 1,200 ICU patients in December, best case scenario 450, Kuipers said.