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Pressure on hospitals But there was relief among hospital staff, who learned to their dismay last week that the government was easing 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 the hospital, 788 of them in intensive care. Ad Melkert, general director of the Dutch 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 urgently needed, because our hospitals have their hands full. First we need to get the virus under control, get more people vaccinated and ease the pressure on the hospitals. After that, we can slowly but surely return to business as usual, but I think that will take a few more weeks.

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