Dutch hospitals stop non-urgent care as coronavirus patients rise
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Dutch hospitals stop non-urgent care as coronavirus patients rise

Credit: Belga

Dutch hospitals will stop non-urgent care to give priority to coronavirus patients as infections in the Netherlands continue to rise, the country announced on Tuesday.

The Netherlands, which has been on lockdown since 15 December, is faced with a rising number of patients in hospital, along with absenteeism among nursing staff, the Dutch government explained, adding that the peak in hospitalisations is expected for January.

The number of beds in the Netherlands’ intensive care units will be scaled up to 1,450, and all non-critical scheduled regular car will be discontinued. In addition, patients will also be moved to Germany, as was the case in the spring.

“It really is all hands on deck in the hospitals in the coming weeks,” said van Ark, who called “on everyone to adhere to the measures during the lockdown. Only then can we keep the care accessible to everyone who needs it.”

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Between 16 and 22 December, 82,340 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the Netherlands, 1,549 patients were admitted to hospital, and 287 were admitted to intensive care.

The country’s reproduction rate currently stands at 1.25, meaning that 100 people infected with coronavirus infect 125 others on average and that the pandemic is growing.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times