Hospitals in Rotterdam fear they cannot guarantee care during Eurovision
The Rotterdam hospitals, Maasstad and Ikazia, are worried about the number of visitors expected at the Eurovision song contest on May 18, 20 and 22 at the Ahoy convention center.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge allowed the Eurovision to take place in front of a live audience given that there are less than 900 Covid-19 patients in the ICU. It was decided that 3,500 guests would be allowed per show. In case of an emergency, visitors would usually be transported to the Maasstad or Ikazia Hospital.
“We want to help everyone who comes to the festival including visitors and artists. But I think it is very unwise to organize such a large event in a region that is already heavily burdened with providing care for Covid-19 patients”, director of the Maasstad Hospital said to Nieuwsuur.
General director of the Ikazia Hospital located opposite the Ahoy, Rob Kievit, agreed stating, “This event may only mean more pressure for the staff. The question is whether we can continue to provide full guarantee on medical care.”
A spokesperson on behalf of the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said to NOS that the song contest had been carefully planned in advance. In case, there are more than 900 patients in the ICU nationwide the public will no longer be allowed at the Eurovision song contest.
Kievit questioned if festivities are more important than providing medical care. “The pressure on healthcare workers will not decrease. If you look at how people behaved during Easter, King’s Day and the Ajax win, then I ask myself why this is necessary.”
Chairman of the Board of Directors at the ErasmusMC, Ernst Kuipers, on the other hand, did not expect any problems. He claimed there is only a 15 percent increase in the chance of an incident requiring hospital care taking place. “That chance is therefore very small”, Kuipers said.
Tickets sales for the Eurovision song contest will begin on Saturday at 12 p.m.