Coronavirus: Antwerp hospitals take patients from Limburg
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    Coronavirus: Antwerp hospitals take patients from Limburg

    There are fewer than 5,000 coronavirus patients in the Belgian hospitals for the first time this month. Credit: Belga

    The Antwerp Hospital Network (ZNA) announced that it will take over patients with the new coronavirus (Covid-19) from several hospitals in the Limburg whose intensive care units are almost at full capacity.

    The ZNA will take patients from the hospitals of Sint-Truiden and Heusden-Zolder, as the beds in intensive care for coronavirus patients in the Limburg province are at an 80% occupancy rate. Limburg is the province hardest hit by the virus in Belgium.

    As the FPS Public Health guidelines ask hospitals to only go up to 75% of the full capacity of their beds, and Antwerp hospitals can still handle more patients, they decided to help, according to Antwerp alderman and ZNA president Fons Duchateau.

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    “Larger hospitals like the ZNA have a larger capacity to shift. That’s why we have made the offer to take over patients,” he said on Radio 2. On Monday, four patients were transferred, and another four will most likely follow on Tuesday.

    The ZNA hospitals have 340 beds for regular coronavirus patients, but the capacity can be extended if necessary. At the moment, about 100 of them are occupied. In the Middelheim, Stuivenberg and Jan Palfijn hospitals, all part of the Antwerp Hospital Network, 115 intensive care beds are available, but the capacity can also be extended.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times