Pressure on hospitals But there was relief among hospital staff, who were dismayed to learn last week that the government wanted to ease restrictions while nearly three-quarters of intensive care beds are occupied by coronavirus patients. Sunday, 8 288 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 association of hospitals NVZ, said, "This is difficult for people who were hoping that the restrictions would be eased. But they are urgently needed, because our hospitals are very busy. First of all, we need to get the virus under control, vaccinate more people and ease the pressure on the hospitals. Then slowly but surely we can go back to normal, but I think that will take a few weeks.'