U-turn over Covid beds in critical care
Belgian hospitals won’t have to reserve a quarter of all ICU beds for Covid patients after all. The experts of the Hospital & Transport Surge Capacity Committee decided all hospitals across Belgium needed to set aside a quarter of ICU beds for Covid patients starting this week, but as hospitalisations are not rising as fast as expected the measure decided only last week has been postponed.
A further rise in hospitalisations had been anticipated due to the start of the new schoolyear and fresh relaxations.
Hospitals were not impressed by the initial decision as they were being asked to set aside 500 of the country’s 2,000 ICU beds, when there were only just over 200 Covid patients in ICUs. The measure meant a blow to their catch-up operation for regular care and that too seemed threatened.
Motivating its U-turn the Committee speaks of the “epidemiological situation that is very difficult to predict” and insists it will continue to monitor the corona data “closely”. If hospitalisations rise, hospitals may once again be asked to reserve more beds for Covid patients.