13% of Netherlands' deaths Covid-19 related

Gurneys in a hospital corridor
Gurneys in a hospital corridorSimpleFotoDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

According to an international model, 12.9 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands are Covid-19 related, RIVM director Jaap van Dissel said to parliament on Wednesday. That puts the Netherlands under Spain, Belgium, France, Italy and the United Kingdom when it comes to coronavirus mortality, NOS reports.

There are major international differences that lead to these coronavirus mortality percentages, Van Dissel said during the Tweede Kamer's weekly briefing on the state of affairs around the coronavirus. There ae differences in whether people who died were tested for the coronavirus, the proportion of elderly people in a country's population, how densely populated a country is, and many other factors that cannot yet be estimated, he said. 

Van Dissel stressed that it is difficult to compare how the Netherlands "is doing" at keeping coronavirus deaths low compared to other countries. The Netherlands tested much less than other countries for a long period, which makes the figures difficult to compare. The Netherlands may be doing worse than the figures show, but this also applies to the other countries, he said. 

Since the coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands, the weekly mortality in the Netherlands increased by more than the official numbers on Covid-19 showed. This is because the official numbers include only confirmed Covid-19 diagnoses, and not everyone is officially tested for the virus.

The total number of Netherlands coronavirus deaths is around 5,800, but in reality there will be more, Van Dissel said. The peak in the number of deaths compared to other years was 9 thousand, he said. 

According to Van Dissel, currently between 4 thousand and 7 thousand coronavirus tests are being done per day in the Netherlands. About 5 percent of them are positive - the person tested has the coronavirus. "The pressure of the virus  is clearly decreasing. The number of patients going to the doctor is also decreasing," Van Dissel said.

There are still areas in the Netherlands where the virus is spreading, but in general the number of infections across the country decreased enormously between May 5 and 18, Van Dissel said.