Belgium’s new health minister Frank Vandenbroucke emphasised on Friday the importance of showing solidarity between intra-Belgian language borders, as well as between neighbouring countries, in face of the surge of coronavirus patients.
He spoke of a need to re-organise efficiency in making more intensive care beds available, for example by moving some patients needing ventilation to non-intensive care sections where possible, and mobilizing new staff, such as current medical students or retired medical proffesionals, to help out.
“If the numbers continue to rise at this rate, there will come a time when the doors to intensive care units will be closed for all other patients. This is when choices will have to be made, and that is what we do not want.”
Belgian patients have already been transferred abroad. According to the health minister, four patients were moved to Germany. “These are not so high figures yet, but this kind of solidarity saves lives.”