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    Ibis becomes ‘care hotel’ for Covid patients

    Credit: Google Street View

    An Ibis hotel in Aalst will transform into a ‘care hotel’ in the region, as it prepares to handle the overspill from local hospitals struggling to manage patients of the new coronavirus (Covid-19). 

    Patients who no longer require the Intensive Care but cannot go home, and are referred by the ASZ or OLV hospitals or the GP, will immediately be cared for here, according to several Flemish news outlets. This service will begin on 6 April in the hotel, which currently has no reservations from guests. 

    “We are the first hotel in the region to do so,” said Yves Fonck, vice president of Accorhotels Belgium and Luxembourg. “The nursing staff will take care of the patients here. These are patients who are discharged from the hospitals, but who are not quite ready to go to the home base yet.”

    “The hotel is literally a link between the home environment and the hospital. Anyone who is medically allowed to leave the hospital but cannot count on the necessary care at home can go there,” said Aalst mayor Christoph D’Haese.

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    “Our hospitals must remain capable of absorbing the influx of patients and continue to provide our population with the best care. The city wants to prepare for a scenario in which all hospital beds will be occupied,” said D’Haese. “We don’t want any Italian and/or Spanish situations in this city,” he added.

    The hotel will not only accommodate people from Aalst, but also coronavirus patients from the Ninove and Geraardsbergen region. 

    Three other hotels in Aalst, the Hotel Tower, Keizershof Hotel and Hotel Royal Astrid also announced that they would make their infrastructure available if the Aalst hospitals would need more rooms. Together, the four hotels could make some 200 rooms available, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times