Slight decline in Covid-19 ICU patients while death toll rises to 1,487

Another 148 patients in the Netherlands who tested positive for coronavirus have died. The total number of infected people in the country who have passed away stood at 1,487 on Friday afternoon, according figures published by the RIVM.

The country's top health agency also registered 1,026 more cases where someone tested positive for the virus. In the Netherlands, 15,723 people have been confirmed as having the virus. At least 75,415 people in the Netherlands have been tested for the virus in total, an increase of 5,315 reported a day earlier. That includes revised data from the past eight days which the RIVM published.

It includes a total of 6,286 who have required hospitalization at some point, an increase of 502 from figures released just a day earlier. Due to the hectic environment at many medical facilities, delays in reporting affect the accuracy of the figures, which are often revised upwards as more patient outcomes are recorded. 

Preliminary intensive care figures showed that as of 2 p.m. on Friday, 1,195 positive and suspected coronavirus patients were being treated in ICU, according to figures from foundation NICE. That is a marginal decline from the 1,198 being treated earlier on Friday morning. The decline could be explained by a combination of factors, including 46 patients known to have died from Wednesday through Friday early afternoon and the discharge of some patients over that same time period.

People with respiratory problems who were suspected of having a coronavirus infection but later tested negative could also be a factor, as could the admission of at least 87 people on Thursday and 21 on Friday, figures from intensive care nonprofit Stichting NICE showed.

So far, intensive care units in Dutch hospitals treated a total of 1,678 Covid-19 patients, including 232 who later died. Others recovered enough to be discharged from intensive care.

As a warm and sunny weekend approaches, Prime Minister Mark Rutte called on Netherlands to not go to beaches and parks and maintain social distance. “Our call is for the whole of the Netherlands to carry on staying at home as much as possible,” Rutte said on Thursday. “If you do go out, don’t go to the places where a lot of people gather together at once.” He added that people who need some fresh air should instead choose to walk around their neighborhoods and avoid busy places.

Overhead video crews recorded the quiet Netherlands streets, stations, and tourist attractions since social distancing started. The video made for NOS includes shots of popular, but abandoned areas like Amsterdam Centraal and the city's Museumplein, the Keukenhof, Giethoorn, the Grote Markt in Groningen, and the bizarrely quiet Prins Clausplein junction where the A4 and A12 meet in Den Haag.