The situation in England in particular has a predictive value, says Kuipers. The extra contagious Delta variant of the virus had already spread there, followed by an increase in the number of admissions. A repeat of earlier peaks, when the maximum capacity of the intensive care units was almost exceeded, is not yet on the agenda. The virus now mainly affects young people, who do not often end up in hospital with Covid-19. “But every increase gets in the way of regular care and catch-up care,” says Kuipers, who is also chairman of the board of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam.
There are currently 204 corona patients in total in Dutch hospitals. Although more crowds are expected, he thinks it is important that hospital employees are given the opportunity to rest and go on holiday. In order to distribute the pressure as evenly as possible, hospitals will continue to spread patients in the coming period.
The explosive increase in the number of corona infections was also surprising for the chairman of the acute care sector. He calls it important that people adhere to basic measures, such as staying at home and having yourself tested in case of complaints. “We have seen how fast it can go. This is a reminder for many people: the virus is not gone. We have to act on that together with common sense.”
“Dancing with Janssen”, the principle that people went out again immediately after a jab of the Janssen vaccine, was not wise in retrospect, because the vaccine needs time to get the immune system to work. “If someone infected goes on a dance floor, he infects dozens of people. Then it goes very quickly,” says Kuipers. The nightclubs are now closed again and the catering industry has to close at midnight. Whether that is enough “we have to see”, says the LNAZ chairman. He points out that only slightly less than half of the adult population has been fully vaccinated and so many people remain susceptible to the virus, including among people from older age groups. “We’re not there yet.”
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) expects the intensive care units to become considerably busier in the coming period. There are now 75 corona patients. That number will probably rise to at least 150 and possibly about 600. The number may remain limited if young people have no contact with the elderly and vulnerable people for a while, says Aura Timen, head of the Center for National Coordination of Infectious Disease Control at the institute.
Daily during lunch an update of the most important news.
Invalid email address. Please fill in again.