Dutch intensive care unit chief calls for strict lockdown to curb virus

Dutch intensive care unit chief calls for strict lockdown to curb virus

The Hague Social distancing became mandatory again across the Netherlands on Wednesday as coronavirus infections surged and the country’s leading intensive care doctor called for stricter measures to curb the pandemic.

The Netherlands is in the midst of a boom that has seen a series of new daily records of coronavirus infections in recent weeks. The country’s Institute of Public Health last week recorded a 39% rise in infections and said admissions to hospitals and intensive care units were also up.

The head of the National Federation of Intensive Care Units, Diederick Gummers, appealed on Tuesday evening to impose severe closures, including closing schools, something the government was keen to avoid.

He told a panel of lawmakers that the nation’s hospitals are 10 days away from being so overburdened with COVID-19 patients that intensive care doctors will have to start making choices about which critically ill patients receive care.


There are currently about 500 patients with COVID-19 in Dutch intensive care units, which have a total capacity of 1,066, according to an organization that distributes patients among hospitals. Gummers said the number of beds could be increased to 1,200 to a maximum of 1,250 and that about 50 COVID-19 patients were admitted to intensive care units each day.

He said the government’s goal of 1,350 beds was out of reach because many ICU staff are currently out of work, whether they are sick or because they have children who have tested positive for the virus and have to self-isolate.

The only way to relieve the pressure on the intensive care units, he said, is to “make sure that admissions go down very quickly. The fastest way to reduce (admissions) is strict measures and I think that means strict closures. And that includes schools because I think if you don’t close schools you won’t stop the infection.” “.

Figures show that children aged 5 to 11 have the highest infection rates over the past week in the Netherlands. The Netherlands and the rest of Europe are awaiting a decision from the European Union’s drug regulator at Pfizer’s request to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for children of primary school age.


The Dutch government – which has been in caretaker mode amid protracted coalition talks since the March 17 elections – has put the nation on partial lockdown from November 13, ordering bars, restaurants and supermarkets to close at 8pm. To close at 6 pm and urged people to work from home.

The government made social distancing mandatory on Wednesday for everyone aged 18 and over in locations where the country’s COVID permits are not required. The government has already advised social distancing – staying 1.5 meters away from people who are not in his family – strongly. Making it mandatory means law enforcement officials can fine people who don’t comply.

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *