The Dutch Association of Hospitals (NVZ) was stunned by the news that the Cabinet plans to ease coronavirus measures from April 21, if the number of infections continues to decline. The university organization does not realize that this plan is under study, while the occupancy rate in hospitals and intensive care units continues to increase, and a large part of the hospital’s staff has not yet been vaccinated.
“I’m surprised to hear that,” says John Tux, NVZ board member. “I understand we are allowing each other again a space to have a drink. I understand very well that young people need more space to do fun things. Our employees want that too. But if they feel insecure at the same time, they are very concerned about insufficient protection and fear. The most important thing. It is that they can work safely and keep hospitals afloat. “
The pressure in hospitals is incredibly high, says Tux, who is also the chairman of Diakonisenhaus in Utrecht. “For the coming weeks, the expectation is that the numbers will be just as high as they were in March of last year. Hospitals are too full, we cannot move people. Another peak is expected in the coming weeks, and we still have to see if it increases. Within three, four weeks. “
Virus experts also have reservations about mitigation. Microbiologist Mark Ponten describes it as “a particular development when hospitals crack at seams”. Doctor IC Diederik Gommers said last night on the show Lover Relaxation, as far as it is concerned, will only be possible if the numbers recede again. “I really want to experience the climax first,” he said.
Epidemiologist Patricia Bruegging is also being cautious. “Everyone craves to relax, and if you look at the chart that OMT uses, the forecast is very promising. But this chart is based on a scenario in which we keep everything as it is now. If you let everything go, then it goes. This forecast looks completely different.” . “
A German model shows that relaxation leads to a high peak in IC admission when the number of injuries is still high, as is currently the case in the Netherlands. “If you relax at a much lower pollution level, only a very small peak will follow.”
A turning point has not occurred in hospitals yet, but this decline may begin in the coming weeks. “Then you can imagine implementing a number of relaxation,” says Bruijning. “Then you focus on those relaxing ones that have little effect on R number. In other words, outdoor activities.”
Additionally, if cafes and restaurants are allowed to open stands again, they should make sure their employees use tests as quickly as possible, says Bruijning. “We have them now, so we have to use them as well. The staff come in and close to the guests.”
She hopes store employees regularly test themselves. Additionally, Bruijning also notes the importance of good ventilation in stores in order to reduce the risk of contamination.