Hospital bed crisis may now be over, acute care chief says

Intensive care numbers are also falling. Photo:
More intensive care beds have been created. Photo:

The number of coronavirus patients being admitted to hospital is going down and the beds crisis may now be over, acute care chief Ernst Kuipers has said in an interview with broadcaster NOS.

The average number of new patients admitted to hospital has gone down over the past week and on Monday 211 people were hospitalised, the lowest figure in over three weeks.

There are currently 626 Dutch patients in an IC ward, of whom 15 are in Germany and this is the highest figure since May. ‘IC occupancy is up slightly, but this is what you always see in this phase,’ Kuipers said.

A week ago, Kuipers warned that the peak had not yet been reached and that he expected patient numbers to top 3,200 by mid December.

However, told broadcaster NOS, he was now more optimistic. ‘I would dare to say we are over the worst, even though total occupancy may fluctuate in the coming days.’

Not everyone is as optimistic as Kuipers. Radboud epidemiologist Alma Tostmann told NOS that she would be happier if the decline in hospital admissions continues up to the end of the week. ‘Then we can definitely say we have passed the peak,’ she said.

The number of intensive care beds in the Netherlands has been scaled up to 1,250 from Monday.

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