Coronavirus kills another 175 pushing Dutch death toll over 1,000 mark

Some 1,039 people in the Netherlands who previously tested positive for coronavirus have died since the end of February, Dutch public health agency RIVM said on Tuesday. The figures include an additional 175 people whose deaths were recorded in the previous 24-hour period.

To date, 4,712 people have been hospitalized, an increase of 722. The rise in patients whose hospitalizations and deaths were recorded by the RIVM did not necessarily indicate that those events took place on Monday or Tuesday, but that they were spread out over several days in the past week. This was attributed to delays in communication between the hospitals, the municipal health officials at the local GGD office, all the way up the chain to the RIVM.

Among the 722 are 146 patients with the coronavirus disease, better known as Covid-19, who have been admitted to intensive care units on Monday and Tuesday through 2 p.m. It brings the total number of people currently in an ICU for Covid-19 to 1,068, with another 55 suspected but as-yet unconfirmed cases being treated as well. The Netherlands is in the process of scaling up its intensive care unit bed count to 1,600, which leaves just 477 beds for patients without Covid-19, when the country normally needs about 575.

One possible bright spot in Tuesday's data is the falling number of patients from Noord-Brabant requiring treatment in a hospital. "The province of Noord-Brabant seems to be over the peak in the number of new hospital admissions," the RIVM stated. Noord-Brabant was initially the epicenter of new known infections in the Netherlands, but stay at home measures were introduced in the province several days before the rest of the country.

At one point, the province was home to 45 percent of the known infections in the country, a figure which steadily declined for over two weeks. "The number of hospital admissions is still increasing in Zuid-Holland, Noord-Holland, Gelderland and Limburg," the RIVM stated. "The number of hospital admissions is stable in the provinces of Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, Flevoland and Zeeland."

The RIVM added another 845 to the total number of people who tested positive for the virus, which means 12,595 in total were confirmed as having been infected with the virus.

Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer wants kids who can't do their school work at home to be able to go to school. She is thinking of children who are forced to be in an unsafe home situation all day, such as victims of domestic violence ro neglect, but also children from poor families who do not have the equipment for distance learning at home, or children who have a sick parent. 

Wemos, a social organization focused on improving health worldwide, wrote a letter to Minister Martin van Rijn for Medical Care calling the Netherlands to support Costa Rica's proposal for a global database containing all data, knowledge and technology that could be useful in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Costa Rica submitted a plan for this global database to the World Health Organization last week. According to Wemos, such a pool of knowledge would save the most lives, but only if companies are willing to release the rights to their products and technologies. "Political support for the essence of this idea is now crucial," Wemos said in its letter, NOS reports. 

Coronavirus infections were diagnosed in two psychiatric prisons - the Oostvaarders clinic in Almere and De Rooyse Wissel in Venray, the Ministry of Justice and Security said on Tuesday. In both cases, the infected person is an inmate. Both were already separated because they showed symptoms of Covid-19. The departments where they are being cared for are separated as much as possible from the other parts of the clinics, the Ministry said, RTL Nieuws reports. 

Amsterdam called on residents to be aware that fewer cleaning- and refuse removing staff are working during this crisis, so they need residents' help to keep the city clean:

The turnover of Dutch hardware stores rose by about 50 percent in the third week of March, compared to the same week last year, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands. The turnover was even 6 percent higher than the week of Ascension Day, traditionally the week in which the Dutch flock to hardware and DIY stores for chores in and around the house. Supermarkets were also busier than usual.