The Netherlands began transferring COVID-19
patients to Germany again on Friday, as hospitals come under increasing strain from a second wave of coronavirus
The Flevo hospital in the central Dutch town of Almere said it would transfer two of its intensive care patients by helicopter to a hospital in Muenster, around 65 km (40 miles) east of the Dutch-German border.
The transfers were the first during the second wave that began in the Netherlands early last month. During the first wave in March and April dozens of Dutch patients were transferred to Germany, where the intensive care capacity is significantly larger than in the Netherlands.
Dutch hospital association LCPS said it expected the transfer of four more patients to Germany over the weekend.
Coronavirus infections in the Netherlands have reached a record high almost every day since mid-September, and jumped to a new peak of almost 10,000 on Friday. Daily confirmed infections in Germany, where the population is almost five times bigger, were at 11,242.
The number of patients hospitalised with the coronavirus in the Netherlands has doubled in the past two weeks, while almost half of all intensive care beds in the country are now being used for COVID-19 patients.
The government imposed partial lockdown measures to contain the spread on Oct 14, including the closure of all bars and restaurants in the country.