Pressure on hospitals But there was relief among hospital staff, who were horrified to learn last week that the government planned to ease restrictions while nearly three-quarters of intensive care beds are occupied by coronavirus patients. On Sunday, 8 288 new infections were reported, the highest daily number for two weeks, while more than 2 500 people are being treated in hospital for the virus, including 788 in intensive care. Ad Melkert, chairman of the board 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 desperately needed, because we have to pull out all the stops in our hospitals. First we need to get the virus under control, get more people vaccinated and reduce the pressure on the hospitals. Then slowly but surely we can go back to normal, but I think it will take a few more weeks.'

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