With an increasing number of novel coronavirus cases, officials and medical staff in the Netherlands are joining efforts to efficiently address the health crisis.
Since Monday, March 23, an empty study room in Rotterdam has functioned as a bustling national coordination center.
Medical professionals, consultants, and the Dutch army work closely together around the clock to ensure optimal use of clinical resources.
At the time of writing, the Netherlands counts 8,603 confirmed COVID-19 infections, including almost 2,500 current hospitalizations.
Similar to Italy’s situation, one Dutch region is hit harder than others: More than one-third of all cases come from Brabant Province.
The region’s hospitals made an emergency call to other Dutch hospitals as they became overloaded with cases.
In order to prevent terrifying situations like that in Lombardy, the Netherlands set up a national coordination center to disperse patients throughout hospitals around the country.
National Network of Acute Care (LNAZ) Program Manager Lotte van Galen has worked day and night over the past weeks to set up the center: “We developed an online platform dedicated to COVID to match the need and demand of IC-beds, medical equipment like respiratory devices and protection equipment.
We expect the demand to increase and therefore need to nationally coordinate. Apart from this we are upscaling: Transforming hotels, exhibition centres, and even tents into medical centers.”
Van Galen says she is exhausted but happy that she is able to do something in the fight against this devastating virus. “It is very hectic and [there is] a lot to do.
But I am grateful to contribute and to hopefully make a positive difference in this time of crisis.”
Dutch Minister of Health Martin van Rijn explained that the country should be able to see, within the coming week, the effects of measures taken to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus.