The Medisch Centrum Leeuwarden (MCL) closes the oncology department, both the nursing department and the day treatment until next Monday (15 February) because 24 employees of the department are found to be infected with the coronavirus. In the department, 11 corona infected patients have also been diagnosed in the past period. Treatments where it is medically justified are postponed, according to the hospital Sunday.
Previously, the department – which treats people with cancer – had already been declared a stop when it turned out that 13 employees of the department were infected. “The closure is in the interests of patients,” said Froukje Ubels, chairman of the medical staff of the MCL. “We want to prevent more infections from occurring at all costs.” Patients whose treatments cannot be postponed are assisted by other hospitals in Friesland or at the UMCG in Groningen.
Employees have also become infected in other departments within the MCL. These infections, as it seems, are all linked to the infections in the oncology department. It concerns departments B (internal medicine), dialysis and radiology. Two dialysis patients have also contracted the coronavirus. All staff in these departments must perform a PCR test within a few days to obtain a better picture of possible further spread of the virus.
It is still unclear how these infections could have arisen, the source and contact research is still ongoing. According to the MCL, the most likely explanation is that the virus has been spread by a patient who has recently been nursed and/or examined in the relevant departments. It is not yet known whether the virus found is the British variant or another, more contagious variant. This is being investigated.