Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I am certainly no fan of Mark Rutte, let alone the VVD. The response of the Dutch government was far too slow, even when the province Noord-Brabant started showing infections, and for the life of me I can't understand the "shortage of test capacity" which somehow only exists in a handful of countries (ans looking at Groningen not even everywhere in all countries). However I do think you are painting a false picture here, some some clarifications:

  • As far as I know, the examples of emergency hospitals in other countries refer to non-IC beds. The code red/code black escalation mainly concerns IC/patients on respiratory equipment.

  • Expansion of IC beds is being worked on. Not by 100, as you claim, but by up to 850 beds
    (which would be a 70% increase). And of course it is quite difficult to increase IC capacity since it requires a long list of both equipment and trained personnel.

  • While some hospitals in Noord-Brabant (and in nearby municipalities) are indeed at or close to maximum capacity, there is now a country wide coordination for the redistribution of corona patients (though the lack of coordination let alone early planning for this by the health department should be noted).

What is being extensively discussed now (as opposed when it's too late) is what choices will be made should the number of critical patients exceed country wide capacity. If that does indeed happen it is certainly fair to blame the early dithering by the government for quite a few of the resulting dead. However I don't see evidence of a lack of preparing for the coming peak by the government. What can be done is being done, they only question might be if the measures to keep the spread down are strict enough.
by Anspen on Thu Mar 26th, 2020 at 01:30:58 AM EST
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