Dutch intensive care boss calls for strict lockdown to bring virus under control – CBS17.com

Commuters and tourists, some wearing face masks, take a free ferry across the IJ river to Amsterdam North, The Netherlands on Friday, November 19, 2021. The Dutch government announced on Tuesday November 23, 2021 that it was returning mandatory social distancing for all adults again on Wednesday after the number of coronavirus infections hit a new weekly high on Tuesday, climbing 39% while admissions to hospitals and intensive care units also rose sharply. (AP Photo / Peter Dejong)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Social distancing became mandatory in the Netherlands again on Wednesday as coronavirus infections skyrocketed and the country’s leading intensive care doctor called for even stricter measures to curb the pandemic.

The Netherlands is in the middle of a wave that has seen a series of new daily records for the number of coronavirus infections in recent weeks. The country’s public health institute recorded a 39% increase in infections last week and said admissions to hospitals and intensive care units had also increased.

The head of the national association of intensive care units, Diederik Gommers, on Tuesday evening called for a strict lockdown, including the closure of schools, which the government was keen to avoid.

He told a committee of lawmakers that hospitals across the country are 10 days away from being so overloaded with COVID-19 patients that intensive care doctors will have to start choosing which critically ill patients receive care.

There are currently around 500 COVID-19 patients in Dutch intensive care units, which have an overall capacity of 1,066, according to an organization that allocates patients between hospitals. Gommers said the number of beds could be increased to a maximum of 1,200 to 1,250 and that around 50 COVID-19 patients are entering intensive care each day.

He said the government’s target of 1,350 beds is out of reach as many ICU staff are currently on sick leave, either due to illness or because they have children who are being tested. is positive and must self-isolate.

He said the only way to take the pressure off the intensive care units was “to make sure the admissions go down very quickly.” And the fastest way to reduce (admissions) is hard action and I think that means strict lockdown. And that includes schools because I think if you don’t close schools, you don’t stop infections. “

Figures show that children aged 5 to 11 had 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 medicines regulator on a request from Pfizer to approve its COVID-19 vaccine for school-aged children.

The Dutch government – which has been in interim mode amid protracted coalition talks since the March 17 election – has put the nation on a partial lockdown from November 13, ordering bars, restaurants and supermarkets to close at 8 p.m. Non-essential stores closed at 6 p.m. and people were asked to work from home.

The government made social distancing mandatory on Wednesday for anyone aged 18 and over in places where the country’s COVID passes are not required. Social distancing – staying 1.5 meters from people outside your family – was already strongly recommended by the government. Making it mandatory means that law enforcement officials can impose fines on those who fail to comply.

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