Coronavirus: New hospitalizations decrease, 164 more killed

Some 336 more people who tested positive for coronavirus required treatment in Dutch hospitals, the lowest reported increase in new hospitalizations linked to the virus since March 26. The data represents several days of admissions data, which brings the total number of people in the Netherlands who were hospitalized with coronavirus up to 6,622.

At the same time, another 164 people who recorded a positive test for the virus have died. In total, some 1,651 patients with the virus have passed away since the pandemic was first reported in the Netherlands at the end of February, public health agency RIVM reported on Saturday.

The number of hospitalizations has been on a steady decline since March 24, when 556 patients were hospitalized in a single day. Preliminary data so far shows that fewer than half as many, 241, were hospitalized on Thursday. So far, just 119 hospitalizations were known to have taken place on Friday, a number which will no doubt rise as the busier hospitals report their data to local health officials.

Officials were concerned about the prospect of an upward trend in new hospitalizations because of crowds gathered at popular outdoors sites over the March 21-22 weekend. It led to angry reactions from politicians, and the closures of many such locations the following weekend. Similar concerns were raised on Friday as temperatures in the Netherlands could top 20 degrees on Sunday.

Separately, intensive care nonprofit NICE reported at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday that 1,237 were being treated in intensive care for respiratory illness Covid-19, which is caused by coronavirus. It reflected an increase of 17 patients since Saturday morning. Figures include 48 people suspected of having Covid-19 but whose cases were not yet conclusive.

So far, 14 people have been discharged from an ICU since the beginning of Thursday, and 44 people have died in an intensive care unit.

The total number of patients with respiratory illness Covid-19 who have died include 1,115 who had an underlying health problem which contributed to their death. The most common of these by far is cardiovasular disease and hypertension, which together was represented in 49 percent of patients. Chronic lung illness or diabetes was found in 48 percent of fatal cases.

The RIVM said 85 people who died did not have an underlying health issue, and patient history was not yet known for 451 others.

Another 904 people also tested positive for the virus, the RIVM said, which brings the total number of people in the Netherlands with coronavirus to 16,627. There was no new data available about the number of tests conducted. Nearly 75,500 people had been tested as of early Friday, with anywhere from two to five thousand people being tested daily.

Broken down by province, those who tested positive for the virus were still most likely to live in Noord-Brabant, considered the epicenter of the country's early increase in infections. Just under 25 percent of people who tested positive live in the southern province, a figure which has slowly fallen from 45 percent about three to four weeks ago.

Zuid-Holland on Saturday was home to 17 percent of the country's coronavirus patients, while another 15 percent lived in Noord-Holland. Roughly 12 percent live in Gelderland, 11 percent in Limburg, eight percent in Utrecht, and six in Overijssel. The remaining six percent are scattered throughout Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Groningen and Zeeland.