Pressure on hospitals But there was relief among hospital staff, who were shocked last week to learn that the government wanted to ease restrictions while nearly three-quarters of intensive care beds were occupied by patients with coronaviruses. On Sunday, 8,888 new infections were announced, the highest daily number in two weeks, while more than 2,500 people are being treated in hospital for the virus, 788 of them in intensive care. Ad Melkert, general director of the Dutch hospital association NVZ, said, "This is difficult for people who hoped or expected that the restrictions would be eased. But they are still urgently needed because our hospitals are full. First we need to get the virus under control, get more people vaccinated and reduce the pressure on hospitals. Then slowly but surely we can return to normal, but I think it will take a few weeks.