Brussels’ intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients are full

The hospitals in the Brussels-Capital Region have reached their maximum capacity of intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients, according to the Brussels health inspectorate.

“All intensive care units in Brussels are at their maximum capacity,” Inge Neven of the Brussels Health Inspectorate told VRT. “This means that when new patients arrive, there should automatically be a transfer from Brussels to one of the other hospitals in Belgium, or abroad.”

In total, 186 Covid-19 patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit in Brussels. Currently, about ten patients per day are transferred to hospitals outside the Capital Region.

Wallonia frequently has to organise transfers as well, and the intensive care in Flanders is also gradually becoming saturated. That is why extra beds for Covid-19 patients are now being created everywhere, according to Neven.

On Thursday 29 October, Belgium’s Hospital & Transport Surge Capacity body ordered hospitals to skip over Phase 2A of the nationwide coronavirus hospital response plan and move straight into Phase 2B by Monday 2 November.

Phase 2B requires hospitals to create 500 new intensive care beds and 300 beds for intensive oxygen therapy, and to cancel more non-urgent procedures and consultations.

Additionally, UZ Brussel spokesperson Karolien De Prez confirmed to The Brussels Times that the hospital endorsed the decision to skip one phase but said that the hospital had begun preparing to go beyond the last tier of the federal government’s plan and go into the as of yet non-existent “Phases 3A and 3B.”

On Sunday 1 November, only 106 of the 2,000 places in intensive care in Belgium were still available, according to Philippe Devos, head of the national association of medical unions (Absym) and of the intensive care at the Groupe santé CHC in Liège.

There was a 50-50 chance that the 106 places would all be occupied in 10 days, he told TRL, even though the transfer of coronavirus patients from Belgian to German hospitals was being intensified over the weekend.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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