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Pressure on hospitals But there was relief among hospital staff, who were aghast to hear last week that the government was trying to ease restrictions while nearly three-quarters of intensive care beds are occupied by patients with the coronavirus. Another 8,288 infections were reported on Sunday, 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 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. Then slowly but surely we can return to normal, but I think it will take a few weeks."

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