The hospital is currently treating another 30 coronavirus patients in the regular care wards, and it can only accept more by cranking up the Covid-19 care plan to a higher phase, in which half of the ICU beds are reserved for coronavirus patients.
But Brussels’ regional IRIS hospital network —which includes the Cliniques Saint-Jean plus four other hospitals in Brussels— said on Thursday that going into a higher phase is not desirable since it would block other critical patient care.
But authorities in cities around Brussels have expressed concerns that the influx of patients from the hard-hit capital could comprise their residents’ access to care.
Already at the start of the week, the mayor of the Flemish city of Aalst said hospitals there could not keep receiving Covid-19 patients from Brussels, saying that their “medical solidarity” had hit a limit.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Brussels officials said their aim with the bar shut down, set to remain in place for at least month, was to slow down infection rates in order to ease pressure on hospitals in the region.