Dutch Hospitals On ‘Code Black’ Standby After Being Overwhelmed By Covid-19 Patients.
The Dutch Institute for Public Health (RIVM) reported a 24 per cent increase in infections in the week to Tuesday, March 16, during which 1,234 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital – also a rise on the previous seven days.
The so-called UK variant of the virus, which is more infectious than earlier strains, comprises 75 per cent of the country’s total infections, and the reproduction number has risen to 1.06, meaning the number of infections is increasing.
While the infection spike continues, Dutch hospitals are preparing for ‘code black’ – a scenario in which there are more patients than beds, the minister for medical care, Tamara van Ark, said.
“We are in the middle of a third wave,” she told the country’s Radio 1, explaining that she did not want to scare the public, but that ‘code black’ preparations are necessary “to be on the safe side.”
In an effort to curb the further spread of the virus, the Netherlands remains under a strict lockdown, including controversial 9pm to 4.30am curfews, and restaurants and bars are closed.
In April last year, the Netherlands increased its ICU capacity to 2,400 in order to cope with the number of coronavirus patients that needed urgent medical care.
Anti-Lockdown Protest Meets Heavy Police Response In The Netherlands.
Anti-lockdown protests have continued in the Netherlands, with scores of people taking to the streets of The Hague to condemn the government’s coronavirus policies. The protests were met with a forceful police response.
Hundreds of anti-government protesters gathered in The Hague on Sunday, March 14, the eve of the country’s general election, which is set to span over a period of three days in a bid to avoid large crowds gathering at the voting stations as a precaution against the coronavirus.
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