Number of ICU beds needed will decrease to normal levels by 1 May, OMT expects

According to the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), intensive care units will go back down to their regular capacity by 1 May. That means, in practice, that there will be 1200 total beds, of which 700 will be occupied by coronavirus patients, RTL Nieuws reports.

Currently, the Netherlands has managed to double its total ICU capacity, with 2400 beds available nationally, of which 1900 are available to coronavirus patients. Intensive care units all across the country were expanded to deal with the crisis.

As of yesterday, 1279 of those 1900 beds were occupied, a number that has been decreasing by 20-30 people per day for the last three days.

“Society as we had it will not suddenly return”

However, yesterday at the press conference, Rutte stressed that normal life was not about to resume, just because the number of patients in the ICU was going down: “society as we had it will not suddenly return,” He warned that even if the trend in the numbers continued to look favourable, only a step-by-step relaxation of certain regulations could be expected on 28 April. That is the best case scenario.

Relaxation of the rules could lead to more people in ICUs

He also addressed the problem that a relaxation of the rules might lead to more patients in the ICU again, yesterday, noting that while opening up schools and businesses again would take the pressure off families (especially financially), it would definitely increase the number of people out and about and in public transport.

Three criteria before rules can be relaxed

The government has said that in order for normal life to begin to resume once again, three criteria need to be met. There needs to be less pressure on the healthcare system, there needs to be sufficient testing capacity, and there needs to be a way to track infections.

Follow DutchReview on Facebook for updates about coronavirus in the Netherlands. 

Feature Image: Calleamanecer/Wikimedia Commons 

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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