Health officials in two European countries are ringing alarm bells as hospitals reach capacity amid an increase in coronavirus infections.
City health officials announced on Tuesday that ICU beds in hospitals in the Belgian capital had all been filled, according to the Brussels Times.
“All the intensive care units in Brussels are operating at full capacity,” said Inge Neven of the Brussels Health Inspector. “This means that when a new patient arrives, it is automatically transferred from Brussels to one of the other hospitals in Belgium or abroad.”
Neven told CNN, officials in Brussels have asked hospitals to try to increase the capacity of the ICU beds by 40% for both COVID-19 patients and those without the virus over the next days.
As of Monday, a record 1,302 patients in ICU units across Belgium, broke the highs set previously during the first peak of the coronavirus crisis in early April when 1,285 people were examined, CNN reported.
Belgium also reported 7,231 COVID-19 infections nationwide, again marking a record high, according to the report.
The shortage of ICU beds is also becoming a problem in Switzerland, where critical care units can reach capacity in just 5 days, the country’s head of infection control, Virginie Massere, said with reporters on Tuesday.
Hospital admissions in Switzerland have doubled over the past week, according to CNN, citing data from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.
According to Massere, 45% of the country’s ICU beds were fully booked on Tuesday, adding that 6,126 new infections were recorded that day, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, officials have set a limit of eight people per table at restaurants and bars when Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says the fight against the virus continues to go in the wrong direction, BBC reported.
Sweden has recorded 5,969 coronavirus deaths as of Tuesday but has never set up a national shutdown – unlike Britain, where a second month-long quarantine would begin. on Thursday.