Experts warn of code black scenario unless Dutch measures are tightened

Yesterday, we wrote about how the OMT had to resort to the use of all caps in order to emphasise the urgency of their advice. Last night, the all caps were ditched and a direct warning was given by health experts.

And what did they say? If the Netherlands doesn’t tighten its restrictions, the country will enter into a code black scenario in 10 days.

And yes, it’s about as bad as it sounds.

What is a code black scenario?

Code black is a status that applies to hospitals. When a hospital enters into a code black scenario, it means that they no longer have any intensive care beds left for new patients.

This means that doctors will be forced to pick and choose who can have an IC bed, and who cannot — a decision that should never have to be made.

Addressing Dutch MPs yesterday, Chairman for the Dutch Union of Intensive Care, Diedrick Gommers, explained that the proposal to increase the number of IC beds in hospitals simply won’t fly. Hospitals are already tackling a staffing shortage due to many staff members needing sick leave, the NOS reports.

Record number of positive coronavirus tests

The GGD experienced a record-breaking percentage of positive PCR tests this week. Of those who found themselves getting that lovely swab shoved up their nose at a test centre, 22% tested positive for coronavirus.

This marks the highest percentage of positive tests that the Netherlands has seen to date. 😬

A hard lockdown next week?

Gommers also advised that the cabinet shift their attention from 2G measures to a hard lockdown starting next week.

However, as far as Dutch Minister for Health, Hugo de Jonge, is concerned, a code black scenario “is still a long way off.”

READ MORE | Weekly update: 153,000 infections in one week, could this mean lockdown?

And he isn’t the only one to dismiss Gommers warning, Ernst Kuipers of the National Coordination Center for Patient Distribution claims that hospital occupancy is similar to last winter’s peak but it is not quite a code black scenario.

What this means for Gommers advice of a hard lockdown, we’ll have to wait and see.

Experts critical of the cabinet’s response

However, experts are not happy with the Dutch cabinet’s response to the rising numbers and the OMT’s warning. According to OMT member Marc Bonten, it’s “incredibly important” that the cabinet make some difficult decisions.

“Look at what it is like in hospitals, look at today’s figures. Look at the figures of recent weeks. Look at the support for the current measures and how they are being implemented. Something has to be done and politicians have to take responsibility for this. Both the cabinet and the parliamentary groups,” he says.

What are your thoughts on the OMT’s warning? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: sudok1/Depositphotos

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


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