The decision to close the Netherlands was justified. But compared to other countries, the procedure does not appear to be effective, says Marcel Levy, former director of the hospital in London and professor of medicine. He points to infection numbers, which are rising here at the same speed as, for example, in Belgium and France, where no lockdown has been put in place.
Despite the increasing number of infections, England is also not in lockdown and has not taken any additional measures. “Opinions are divided in England as it is here, but a lot of people there say they no longer want to live from lockdown to lockdown. There are also people who say you risk bypassing care.”
However, according to Levi, the omikron variant appears to reduce stress on IC occupancy in England in particular. “The omikron variant has peaked tremendously in England by four weeks and you can’t see the care overload at all right now. Acceptance of IC has actually only gone down.”
Hospitals are considering more patients, especially in nursing wards. By not taking additional measures, the British are accepting a lower quality of care. “In England they’ve been able to train a little more staff in the last year and a half, and they’ve also benefited a lot from people who have no medical or nursing training, but are still deployed in hospitals.”
According to Levy, there is resistance in the Netherlands to doing the same. “In the Netherlands we find it very difficult to let go of such high quality. I think the work ethic of people in Dutch care is very sophisticated and that everyone always wants to provide the best care in our hospitals.”
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