Belgian ICUs better prepared than during first coronavirus wave, expert says
Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Belgium’s hospitals and, specifically, intensive care units are better prepared to receive coronavirus (Covid-19) patients than during the first wave, says Geert Meyfroidt, chairman of the Belgian Association for Intensive Medicine.
Figures published by Sciensano on Wednesday show that there are currently 232 coronavirus patients in hospitals in Belgium, 49 of whom are in intensive care. During the past week, an average of 23 new infected patients were admitted every day. That is almost double compared to the previous week.
“In general, it’s still very quiet in the hospitals. Only in Antwerp and to a lesser extent in Brussels and West Flanders, it’s a little busier. Even in intensive care, it remains calm because the vast majority of admissions are regular hospitalisations,” Meyfroidt said.
“We had hoped that we wouldn’t reach a new peak until after the holidays, but at the moment the situation can’t compare at all with March and April,” according to Meyfroidt.
At the University Hospital of Leuven, for example, the number of patients admitted has fluctuated around the number of five for quite some time, two of whom are currently in intensive care.
The organisation of hospital care has improved compared to March and April, according to Meyfroidt. “Plans have been drawn up everywhere and the situation is being monitored both internally and from higher up,” he said, adding that “the organisation of the care and the management of the patients has been adapted.”
“Moreover, the staff involved in this care is now better trained and the problems that arose at the time due to the scarcity of equipment have been eliminated. Patients don’t have to worry,” Meyfroidt concluded.