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Dutch hospitals ask for German help to cope with COVID-19 surge

Dutch hospitals ask for German help to cope with COVID-19 surge

FILE PHOTO: Dutch health workers admit a patient at Bernhoven hospital, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Uden, Netherlands, March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

AMSTERDAM: Hospitals in the Netherlands on Thursday (Oct 15) said they would ask their German counterparts to take patients after the number of those hospitalised with the coronavirus doubled in the past week, to 1,526.

"We are about to ask for the transfer of patients to hospitals in Germany again," the head of the Dutch hospital association LNAZ told reporters.

The Netherlands has entered another partial lockdown after becoming one of Europe's hotbeds for new infections, with numbers reaching record levels almost every day since mid-September and the total doubling within three weeks.

READ: Amid COVID-19 surge, WHO urges Europe to step up controls now to save lives

The surge has forced hospitals to scale back regular care, and seen some emergency wards close temporarily.

The Dutch government closed all bars and restaurants for at least four weeks from Wednesday evening, limited group sizes and ordered the wearing of cloth masks in indoor spaces.

Without these measures, more than 75 per cent of regular care would have to be postponed by the end of November, the LNAZ warned earlier this week.

Dutch hospitals also transferred COVID-19 patients to Germany during the first wave of the virus.

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Source: Reuters/dv


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