The emergency room at the Antwerp hospital ZNA Stuivenberg treated a dozen more people who had too much to drink this weekend than usual, as the terraces in Belgium reopened.
“Some people celebrated the reopening of the terraces pretty vigorously,” Tom Van de Vreken of the ZNA said on local radio on Monday morning.
According to him, “about a dozen more people than usual with alcohol intoxication” were brought in on Saturday night.
“We have noticed that an emergency department in the middle of the city is more sensitive to this,” Van de Vreken added, stressing that the hospital was not in danger of being unable to handle it at any time.
The closure of bars and restaurants over the past six months likely did not mean that people stopped drinking too much, but they were probably not taken to hospital as it happened in their home environment, according to him.
“This weekend, it happened on a terrace in the city somewhere, and then an ambulance came to the scene,” Van de Vreken said.
“We experience this quite often, like on New Year’s Eve for example,” he added. “But this time, it had been a while ago, because the bars and restaurants had been closed for months.”
Since 8 May, the terraces in Belgium are allowed to serve clients again from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, following strict coronavirus measures.
The Brussels Times