Covid-19 patients in ICU down below 300; 80% lower than peak

For the first time since March 19, the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care in the Netherlands fell below 300. There were 293 people being cared for in ICU on Tuesday, a decrease of nine percent, with 30 fewer patients in intensive care compared to the previous day, according to patient coordination office LCPS.

Since the start of the pandemic, ICUs in the Netherlands were in their toughest position on April 9 when 1,417 were in ICU, including a few dozen being treated in Germany. Tuesday's total was over 79 percent lower than that peak day, and just two patients were still being treated across the border.

Ernst Kuipers, the chair of the national acute care network, said it was a "good sign" that the patient load was still headed in the right direction after a brief increase on Sunday. "We are seeing that last week's sharp drop has continued," Kuipers said. He was optimistic that hospitals could continue to treat more patients for ailments unrelated to coronavirus.

Some 2,849 residents of the Netherlands have required intensive care treatment since the start of the pandemic, with 800 of them having died. The sharp rise in deaths began to taper off in mid-April, with more patients beginning to show signs of a full recovery.

Hospitals have discharged 1,168 former ICU patients after recovering from the disease. Another 538 were still being cared for on Tuesday in other hospital wards, according to nonprofit organization NICE.