Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge warned this Thursday that due to the epidemic situation caused by a new wave of coronavirus infections, the country’s hospitals are on the verge of collapse and emergency treatments may be suspended.
Health officials looking closely at the situation out of the pandemic are considering the option of calling an emergency for hospitals.
This would result in the need to suspend some procedures like chemotherapy or transplants to expose layers for patients with COVID-19.
In many hospitals, planned operations and treatments had to be postponed due to the increase in infections. Around fifteen hospitals have so far canceled heart and cancer operations, among other things.
The authorities assume that given this situation, the partial detention imposed in mid-November could be extended, but the decision will be announced on Friday. “The truth is there has to be a change,” said De Jonge.
More than 2,000 COVID-19 patients are currently being admitted to hospitals, 505 of them in intensive care units. If the influx of new patients doesn’t stop, experts believe hospitals will be overwhelmed in ten days.
In such a case, doctors need to decide which patients will be sent to the intensive care unit and which will not. With that in mind, there are already two Dutch patients who were transferred to German hospitals this week.
There has been an increase in infections in the Netherlands in recent weeks. On the last day, more than 22,000 new cases were registered, which corresponds to an incidence of around 900 new cases per 100,000 population over a period of one week.
Since the health crisis began, the country has confirmed more than 2.5 million cases of coronavirus and 19,000 deaths.