Doctors from ten Belgian hospitals should show up at work even if they themselves have the coronavirus infection in a way that allows them to continue working, writes the BBC. The Belgian Minister of Health admitted that the authorities “are no longer able to control what is happening”.
Doctors in the Belgian city of Liege have been asked to come to work if the number of infections increases, even if they are infected with coronavirus themselves. According to the BBC, every fourth medical worker from Liege already suffers from COVID-19.
Currently, 10 Belgian hospitals have called their employees who are confirmed to be coronavirus, but who are not showing symptoms of infection, to return to work.
The head of the Belgian doctors’ union explained to the BBC that they had no choice if they did not want the hospital system to collapse within days. Philippe Devos admitted that of course it carries the risk of transmitting the virus to patients.
In Liege, one in three test persons has a positive test result. Patients are transferred from hospital to hospital, and facilities postpone less urgent procedures to another date. A few days earlier, Health Minister Frank Vandenbrouke warned that the country was facing a “tsunami” of infections and that the authorities “are no longer able to control what is happening.”
“Many citizens are unaware of what lies ahead”
Federal spokesman for the fight against coronavirus Yves Van Laethem warned on Monday that if the current increase in admissions to intensive care units due to infection continued, within 15 days the number of patients could reach 2,000, which is the maximum capacity. – The hospitalization rate doubles every 8 days. We should cross the threshold of 1,000 patients in intensive care within 4 days by the end of the week, said RTL. He added that authorities were concerned that although the infection rate was still significantly high among those between the ages of 20 and 30, more and more elderly people were getting sick.
COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in Belgium are growing all the time. Between October 19 and October 25, an average of 468 coronavirus patients were hospitalized each day, an 85 percent increase compared to the previous week, Belgian media reports. Currently, hospitals have a total of 4,827 coronavirus patients, 757 of whom are in intensive care units. 384 patients are connected to ventilators.
More than 333,000 people have fallen ill in Belgium since the beginning of the pandemic. Nearly 11,000 Belgians have died due to COVID-19.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JULIEN WARNAND