ICU expert calls for reinstatement of basic Covid measures
The Cabinet should reimplement the basic measures against the spread of the coronavirus in the press conference scheduled for Tuesday, Diederik Gommers, intensive care doctor and head of the ICU association NVIC, said in the BNR podcast Ask Gommers. The ICU heads of the university medical centers (UMCs) also called on the government and Netherlands residents to do everything in their power to reduce the number of infections.
According to Gommers, the coronavirus is currently spreading like wildfire because the basic measures no longer apply. "We contract a contagious disease because someone near you happens to be infected without your knowledge," Gommers said. "If you do meet other people through your work or visiting a bar or restaurant, you don't want to get infected. Then those basic measures come into the picture again. Wash hands, stay home if you have symptoms, and keep your distance. If you can't keep your distance, wear a face mask. That's what works best because it's our behavior that matters."
The basic measures will have to apply to everyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, Gommers said. The coronavirus access pass must also be enforced more strictly, he said. "It also needs to be properly monitored. Of course, you can cheat, but then you won't help the infection control."
Due to the increasing number of Covid-19 patients, the intensivists at the UMCs worry that the demand for ICU capacity will become so high that they will no longer be able to guarantee the quality of care. The plan is to increase ICU capacity to 1,350 beds, but they do not consider that feasible. If too many beds are added, there won't be enough staff. The number of patients per nurse would have to be increased, which could be at the expense of quality of care, they said in a statement.
On Sunday, Peter van der Voort, intensivists at UMCG, said in Nieuwsuur that the hospitals are arguing for several concrete measures. The coronavirus access pass should be better enforced and be used in more places. Religious communities need to take responsibility and reduce the number of infections. And the vaccination rate must be increased. "Preferably above 90 percent, We think GPs are a key figure in reaching people who have not been vaccinated." As a last measure, Van der Voort mentioned a booster injection for everyone who has already been vaccinated.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.