Monday 06 July 2020

Coronavirus in NL: Hotels become hospitals, hunt is on for respirators

Photo: Biccie via Wikimedia Commons

The Fletcher and Van der Valk hotel chains have begun converting some of their hotels into emergency hospitals for patients who are too ill to remain at home but who do not need emergency care.

The first ‘corona hotel’ unit will open at the Van der Valk hotel in Urmond in Limburg and Fletcher hotel group boss Rob Hermans said ‘hundreds’ of locations can be made suitable for patients within 24 hours.

The Acibadem private hospital in Amsterdam has also said it is making its doctors, other staff, equipment, operating theatres and patient beds available to the city’s OLVG hospital group.

In addition, the hospital’s supply of face masks and protective clothing is also being transferred to the OLVG.


Meanwhile, the hunt is on to ensure the Netherlands has enough respirators to cope with expected level of sick patients.

Some 2,000 are on order in the US and the Netherlands is also looking into setting up its own production facility, hospital minister Hugo de Jonge said at Monday night’s press conference.

Philips, which produces respirators in the US, has already doubled production capacity to 2,000 a week. According to some media reports Philips is concerned that the US may requisition its entire production for local use, but has been unable to verify this.

Farm minister Carola Schouten has also asked vets for help in meeting demand, by making their respirators available to hospitals, the minister told MPs in a briefing.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.