Covid-19 deaths, hospitalizations keep falling; Most patients had underlying health problems
The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the Netherlands seems to be falling, according to figures released by public health agency RIVM on Tuesday. Preliminary figures show 117 reported deaths on April 4, the lowest since March 29, and thus far the deaths of just 176 people were registered by the agency for April 5 and 6.
In total, the RIVM reported another 234 deaths on Tuesday which were added to the preliminary figures dating back as far as March 20. That brings the total number of coronavirus deaths in the Netherlands to 2,101. Nearly seventy percent of those who have died had an underlying health condition, like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, chronic respiratory problems, or diabetes.
The number of coronavirus related hospitalizations in the country rose by 292 to a total of 7,427. These figures include adjustments through March 20. On Monday 80 hospitalizations were reported, and 179 the day before. These numbers are still likely to rise, as reports from healthcare institutions to the RIVM are sometimes delayed, but they are still far lower than the 723 reported hospitalizations over the same two days last week.
If the amount of hospitalizations on April 5 remains at 179, it would represent the fifth straight daily decline. The same could also be said about patients with a fatal outcome, though it depends on how quickly patient statuses are reported to the health agency.
As of Tuesday, a total of 19,580 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the coronavirus, 777 more than the number reported by the RIVM on Monday. At least 90,614 people in the Netherlands have been tested thus far.
German hospitals can currently care for 107 Dutch patients in intensive care, a spokesperson for Erasmus MC, where the national patient distribution center LCPS is located, confirmed to NU.nl. The hospitals Dutch patients are transferred to are currently all in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which borders with the Netherlands. But if the pressure on Dutch ICUs increases, Dutch patients can also be taken to clinics elsewhere in Germany.
The Dutch patients are moved to German hospitals by helicopter. Two Dutch trauma helicopters are used for these transports.
On Monday 1,409 Netherlands residents were being treated in ICU for Covid-19 - 1,372 in Dutch hospitals, and 37 in hospitals in Germany, according to figures from LCPS. Ernst Kuipers of the National Network of Acute Care said that if the current "stable" trend of coronavirus-related ICU admissions continue, the Netherlands will be able to offer all Covid-19 patients intensive care if they need it.
The Netherlands currently has 2,400 beds in intensive care, up from 1,150 under usual circumstances. 1,900 of the available beds are reserved for coronavirus patients, the other 500 for patients with other health problems. Minister Martin van Rijn for Medical Care said on television on Monday that he is "extremely happy" that the number of ICU beds increased so much over the past weeks.
A bus was pulled over in Blerick, near Venlo and the German border, on Tuesday with a total of 39 people inside. They were all employees of an employment agency, according to 1Limburg. "There were too many people in [the bus] and they did not keep 1.5 meters apart," the police said. "All employment agencies were advised in advance that they must transport their personnel in a safe manner." All the passengers in the bus were fined for not adhering to social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, 1Limburg reports.