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Pressure on hospitals But there was relief among hospital staff, who learned with dismay last week that the government wanted to ease restrictions while nearly three-quarters of intensive care beds are occupied by coronavirus patients. Sunday, another 8 288 infections were announced, the highest daily number in two weeks, while more than 2 500 people are being treated for the virus in hospital, 788 of them in intensive care. Ad Melkert, chairman of the board of the Netherlands Association of Hospitals NVZ, said, "This is difficult for people who had hoped or expected that the restrictions would be eased. But they are still desperately needed, because we have to pull out all the stops in our hospitals. First we need to get the virus under control, vaccinate more people and reduce the pressure on the hospitals. Then slowly but surely we can return to normal, but I think that will take a few weeks.

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