Hospitals preparing to tackle a "second wave": "Patients do not have to worry"

The number of new Covid infections has been on the rise for 10 consecutive days now, and the number of hospitalisations also seems to go up but hospitals will be ready when necessary. The main concern is about the extra pressure on staff, who are still recovering mentally and physically from the first wave.  

"Here and there we see that patients need to go to hospital to receive extra care. The number of people going first-aid posts is also growing at some places. The rise is still to small to be really worried, but too big to go to bed without a worry", says Philippe Jorens, the head of the intensive care unit at Antwerp's university hospital UZA. 

Hopspitals will be ready to deal with a second wave. "The government has already asked us to take the first steps for the emergency plans. We are preparing extra beds and working schedules. We are preparing mentally and physically," Philippe Jorens explains. 

His colleague Geert Meyfroidt of UZ Leuven adds: "The plans are ready and I think they are better than during the first wave." Both health workers are more concerned about the extra burden on staff: "Some of them are on holiday now, they deserved that. But this could put extra pressure on the system. We also hope that if staff come back from their holiday, they don't have to quarantine themselves."   

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