Dutch hospitals urge new measures as COVID-19 cases approach record – Community News

Dutch hospitals urge new measures as COVID-19 cases approach record

A member of the medical staff wearing a full protective suit works in the intensive care unit of Maastricht UMC+ Hospital, treating patients suffering from the coronavirus (COVID-19), in Maastricht, the Netherlands, November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

AMSTERDAM, Nov. 9 (Reuters) – A group of hospitals in the southern Dutch province of Limburg on Tuesday called on the government to take new measures to contain rising COVID-19 cases, as they lack space or staff to accommodate more coronavirus patients. to treat.

The coronavirus infections in the Netherlands, as in other parts of Europe, are approaching the highest level, despite adult vaccination levels at around 85%.

Last week, the cabinet of Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced new measures to slow down the spread of the virus, two months after the social distancing rules were scrapped. The new steps include the reintroduction of face masks in stores and wider use of the country’s ‘corona pass’ as proof of vaccination. read more

However, the number of cases has continued to rise and the Netherlands Institute of Public Health (RIVM) will release new infection figures later on Tuesday that could exceed the previous record of 12,997 cases reported on December 20.

“We are heading straight for a healthcare disaster and the entire system will come to a standstill,” the five Limburg hospitals write in a letter to the Rutte government. “We are convinced that the rest of the Netherlands will follow us soon.”

They urged new measures, including immediately starting booster vaccinations for elderly and frail patients.

Rutte’s government has said it will offer booster shots to patients over 60 after six months of full vaccination.

His government will announce whether it will take new measures at a press conference scheduled for Friday.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Alex Richardson

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