Covid-19 Update: Death toll rises to 771 after 132 more pass away; Total cases rises to 10,866

Covid-19: Sign in Amsterdam's Oosterpark instructing people to stay 1.5 meters apart
Covid-19: Sign in Amsterdam's Oosterpark instructing people to stay 1.5 meters apartNL TimesNL Times

Another 132 people in the Netherlands who tested positive for coronavirus died, Dutch public health agency RIVM revealed in updated statistics. The country is now home to 771 people who were being treated for Covid-19 but later passed away, out of a total number of 10,866 people who tested positive for the virus.

The new total reflects an increase of over 1,104 people who have tested positive since the last set of numbers were released on Saturday almost exactly 24 hours prior. The 11.3 percent rise in people testing positive continues a week-long downward trend in the Netherlands, though the amount of people being tested for the virus has been limited mainly to healthcare workers and those in vulnerable health whose doctors may determine a different course of treatment pending a definitive diagnosis.

The updated figures were announced several hours after it was revealed that 953 patients were being treated in intensive car unit beds across the Netherlands for symptoms connected to the coronavirus disease, of which 903 were confirmed to have the virus. In total, the Netherlands has 1,150 beds in ICUs, a figure that the government said would rise to 1,600 by Wednesday.

"Because not all COVID-19 patients are tested, the actual numbers in the Netherlands will be higher than the numbers in this report," the RIVM stated. "As the current testing policy targets individuals at serious risk from the COVID-19 disease, the proportion of hospitalized and deceased patients will now be higher than at the beginning of the epidemic."

Indeed, reported hospitalizations rose by 32 percent since Saturday afternoon, while the estimated number of patients in intensive care grew by about three percent since Friday evening. That figure would top nine percent if suspected but as-yet unconfirmed cases of Covid-19 were added to the total.

Approximately 100 of the patients treated in ICU have since been discharged, statistics from Sunday morning showed. However, the RIVM maintained that it does not have a total figure representing who has recovered from the Covid-19 disease.

In total, some 3,483 people who tested positive for coronavirus required treatment in a hospital at some point since late February, an increase of 529 since Saturday's statistics. The increase is not solely attributed to Saturday, but spread out over a multi-day period as hospitals and health officials continue catching up on their communications with one another.

Half of those who have been treated in hospital were over the age of 70, the RIVM said. Half of those who were infected with the virus and later died were over 80 years of age.

The same was true about statistics from the RIVM related to fatalities, the agency said. "The basis for the number of confirmed patients admitted to the hospital, and the deaths from COVID-19, are the reports from the [regional public health offices]. There are some delays between the day of death and the day that death is reported," the RIVM stated.

The residents of Aruba are on lockdown from Sunday. The number of Covid-19 infections on the island climbed from nine on Monday to 28 on Thursday, prompting the local government to announce a lockdown to stop the virus spreading further. The lockdown will last at least two weeks. Residents are still allowed outside to shop for food and medicine, and to exercise.

Curacao banned groups of four or more people. Only supermarkets and pharmacies are currently open on the island, as well as restaurants for takeout. 

The restrictions in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands means that many universities and other higher education institutions had to cancel their open days. In response, many students are offering to chat with school pupils online and share their experiences, repots. The University of Twente is also organizing an online open day.

Social distancing is making birthday parties difficult, but not impossible. Fenna from Voorthuizen celebrated her 7th birthday with a 'drive-through party':