Hospital directors urge for more rigourous coronavirus measures
Hospital directors pushed for additional coronavirus measures in the Trouw to prevent hospitals from becoming overcrowded with Covid-19 patients.
In September, the 1.5-meter social distancing rule was replaced with a mandatory coronavirus access pass in the catering industry and cultural sector. Hospital directors feared that without further restrictions, the number of Covid-19 patients will increase rapidly.
The experts said it needs to be made clear that the pandemic is not yet over.
"If you intervene now, the restrictions will be milder," leader of the crisis team at the Radboud MC Chantal Bleeker-Rovers said. According to Bleekers-Rovers, the scheduled press conference for November 5 is too late to effectively prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Chair of board of the Rijnsttate hospital in Arnhem Wim van Harten said that as long as at least 90 percent of the population is not vaccinated, further measures will be necessary.
The RIVM announced earlier this month that around 80 percent of hospitalized Covid-19 patients were not vaccinated. On Friday, Dutch hospitals were treating slightly under 700 Covid-19 patients. If the number of daily admissions to the regular hospital award does not fall under 100 soon, the Cabinet threatened to implement new measures.
"Every extra Covid-19 patient is at the expense of regular care," Bleeker-Rovers said.
The Isala hospital in Zwolle has already had to postpone surgeries partially due to an influx of Covid-19 patients, in addition to an increase in births and trauma patients. The hospital has also been trying to catch up on a backlog of procedures previously delayed due to the pandemic.
Professor of social psychology Arie Dijkstra said in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal that the Cabinet needs to consider that approval of new measures may be lower this year than earlier in the pandemic. "In the meantime, many people have been vaccinated, which means you lost the most important motive, namely self-protection."
Dijkstra argued that there will need to be more visible reminders of Covid-19 measures, such as signs, to remind people of coronavirus measures, along with possible fines for breaking restrictions. "You have to point them in the right direction," Dijkstra said. "These are all measures to regulate people's behavior."