Netherlands transfers patients to Germany as hospitals come under increasing strain

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The Netherlands began transferring COVID-19 patients to Germany again on Friday, as hospitals come under increasing strain from a second wave of coronavirus infections.

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.

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