Flattening the curve: smaller increases in patients admitted to ICU
The outcome of a press conference at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam about the occupation of intensive care beds in the Netherlands was a positive one, according to NOS. The amount of intensive care beds in hospitals being newly occupied is now decreasing.
For instance, on Monday, there was an increase of 24 cases in intensive care units, compared to last Thursday, when the increase was 82. These daily increases are steadily getting smaller. Approximately 1900 beds in the ICU are being used by coronavirus patients and the moment, whilst the total capacity is 2400.
Optimism about flattening the curve in the Netherlands
Chairman of the Dutch Association for intensive care Diederik Gommers: “If this continues I am very optimistic.” But Gommers also emphasized that the peak of ICU admissions is still yet to come. “But I’m afraid that this number can easily rise to 50 or 80 again.”
However, a flattening curve is still an increase. In conclusion, Gommers said, “Only when we see the numbers falling can we talk about relaxing measures.”
A credit to the Dutch population, but too early to relax measures
Ernst Kuipers of the National Network of Acute Care says that the flattening of the curve is beginning to be noted and this is “a credit to the Dutch population,” proof that people are taking into account the measures in place to reduce the further spread of coronavirus. Kuipers continued: "There is definitely a reason for optimism now that the curve seems to be levelling off. However, there will be "a considerable number of corona patients in Dutch hospitals for a long time to come."
According to Kuipers, we still need to be careful about how we relax the rules. "We can help the economy and society with a relaxation of the measures, but at the same time not end up in the scenario in which there will still be a major spike. Because then you might still get what we are trying to prevent."