New Covid-19 hospitalizations, deaths stabilized; 4,289 reported dead
With reporting by Janene Pieters.
At least 48 more people who tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized in the Netherlands on Thursday, according to data released by public health agency RIVM on Friday. The data showed that 487 hospitalizations took place in the past week, about 52 percent fewer than the 1,010 admissions which occurred the previous week.
In total, 10,281 people who tested positive for the virus were known to have been hospitalized, an increase of 123 from data released on Thursday. That increase reflects people admitted to hospital from March 16 up to and including Friday, numbers which change and develop as more people are tested and more information from medical facilities is conveyed to the RIVM over time.
Some 27 people are known to have died on Thursday, and 86 on Wednesday, which was more than twice as high as preliminary information showed. At least 619 people with a coronavirus infection died in the past week, down from 895 the week prior.
At least 4,289 people in the Netherlands with a positive coronavirus test have died since the end of February. That is an increase of 112 over data released on Thursday, with new figures from reported deaths dating between March 19 and April 24.
"The actual number of people dying in the Netherlands from the consequences of the new coronavirus is higher than the reported numbers published daily by the RIVM," the health agency said in a statement. "Not all people who die in the Netherlands have been tested for COVID-19," the RIVM continued. It said that a "significant portion of the excess mortality" observed since the coronavirus epidemic was first identified in the Netherlands is likely to be linked to Covid-19 as investigation into individual causes of death continues.
"The mortality rate is decreasing in the third week of April, according to data from Statistics Netherlands and RIVM."
To date, 36,535 have tested positive for coronavirus in the Netherlands. The RIVM said that 193,950 people have been tested for an infection.
The government is currently scrambling for an app that can take over the so-called "contact research" from the GGD. That is the research to find out exactly who a person with the coronavirus had contact with. The idea is that the app will send a message to every phone that was in the patient's vicinity, warning them that they had contact with a coronavirus patient and may be infected themselves. A popular way being considered is using the unique Bluetooth ID code each phone has for this.
Bluetooth inventor, Dutch Jaap Haartsen, does not think his technology is accurate enough to use in such an app, he said to website Computable. The range of Bluetooth signals can lead to unreliable results. He also called the Dutch approach to the coronavirus app sad and amateurish. "Both how the government has handled this and how society now deals with it. It is one big media circus where 17 million experts were allowed to give their 'opinion' in a weekend. That is why I deliberately kept myself aside. It is a complicated puzzle. To expect that this could be developed within a few weeks, then you do the field a disservice."