Coronavirus code black on the cards for North Holland

Sorry to those who were looking forward to drinks on a terrace and King’s Day celebrations, because coronavirus is not going away anytime soon. In fact, hospitals are close to overflowing in the Netherlands. 

Currently, in the Netherlands, there are more than 2000 coronavirus patients in hospitals. Minister for Medicare, Tamara van Ark, said she is preparing for code black.

Code black is the stage where there are more patients in hospitals than there are beds. In this scenario, hospitals would have to make cut-throat decisions about who to treat.

Not good in North Holland

North Holland in particular is not faring well. In Hoorn, there are 72.3 hospital admissions per 100,000 people, according to RTL Nieuws. Volendam also has a high hospital rate, at 69.1 admissions per 100,000, but Purmered comes in at the highest with 76.3 per 100,000.

The number of admissions has been so high that patients from these regions have been moved to hospitals in other parts of the country, such as Maastricht and Utrecht. Unfortunately, not all patients make it through the move, some dying in transit.

Preparing for code black

The Safety Region of North Holland Nord has stated the gravity of the coronavirus situation.

Director of the Safety Region, Martin Smeekers, tells RTL Nieuws that “if the whole of the Netherlands would have the same level of contamination as in Noord-Holland Noord, then that would be an exceptional situation in which care would no longer be able to cope with patients in the usual way.”

Smeekers added that the region is preparing for code black, but of course, is hoping it will not get to that point.

Are you surprised by the situation in hospitals? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Artur Tumasjan/Unsplash 

Chloe Lovatt
Chloe Lovatt
A British native, Chloe has a love for other languages and cultures, having lived in Spain before moving to the Netherlands. She is keen to explore the Dutch landscape, cultural spots and — the most important — food! After being here for a few months she already has developed a mild addiction to kibbeling.


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