Hospitalizations, deaths tied to Covid-19 continue to fall; Another 101 killed

The number of coronavirus related hospital admissions in the Netherlands rose by 260, according to figures released by public health institute RIVM on Monday. That brings the total hospitalizations to 7,135. Another 101 people succumbed to the disease, bringing the death toll up to 1,867.

So far 18,803 people in the Netherlands tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. That is 952 more confirmed infections than on Sunday. Some 86,589 have been tested for the virus, an increase of 11 thousand since Friday.

The RIVM pointed out that not all the new patients reported on Monday were hospitalized or died in the last 24 hours. There may be a delay for reporting deaths, hospitalizations and testing figures to the health institute. A comparison of data released on Sunday versus the report distributed on Monday showed corrections of fatality statistics dating back to March 20.

Still, if the figures from April 3 and 4 hold steady, when 183 people were known to have died, it would represent a 26 percent improvement compared to a week earlier.

Some 106 known new patients with Covid-19 were admitted into hospital on Sunday, about half as many as the day earlier, and the sixth straight day where preliminary figures showed a decline. The number was far lower than the 389 admissions recorded the previous Sunday. During the pandemic, the single-day record for most Covid-19 hospital admissions was set on March 24 with 554. Statistics about hospitalizations were still being corrected going back as far as March 16, data released on Monday showed.

It was also apparent that by the end of Sunday afternoon, 1,385 people were being treated in intensive care units, according to LCPS, the new national coordinator in charge of transporting patients from busier hospitals to medical facilities with more availability. That represented an increase of 25 from a day earlier. "This is because the influx is leveling off and more patients are gradually recovering and leaving the ICU," the LCPS said.

While the statement projected a positive outlook, not everyone was so upbeat. On Sunday, Diederik Gommers of intensive care association NVIC said that it is still too early for optimism in the fight against Covid-19, despite admission and infection numbers starting to level off. According to Gommers, the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care is expected to climb to around 2 thousand in the next two weeks.

"That is already too much. There is more and more strain on the staff and they have to keep it up for longer. That is very stressful."

The fact that the number of ICU deaths is so much lower than the total number of coronavirus deaths in the Netherlands has to do with the fact that many patients were so seriously ill that further treatment would not have helped them, Gommers previously explained. In those cases care was focused on making patients as comfortable as possible during the last phase of their lives. 

The LCPS, based at the Erasmus Medical Center, also noted that 24 of the 1,385 were being treated in Germany. Figures from the LCPS do not quite match up with numbers released by intensive care nonprofit organization NICE. Both organizations told NL Times they believe the LCPS figures are more up-to-date.

NICE knew of 1,238 patients with Covid-19 symptoms being treated, including 41 whose diagnoses had not been confirmed. Since the coronavirus pandemic reached the Netherlands at the end of February, ICUs treated a total of 1,872 patients. 287 of them died. Others recovered enough to be discharged from intensive care.