RIVM warns of data delays after reporting 8,669 new coronavirus infections
Another 8,669 people tested positive for a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, preliminary statistics released on Saturday by public health agency RIVM showed. However, the data was likely incomplete, a spokesperson for the RIVM told several news outlets just after it was released around 5 p.m.
An RIVM representative told NL Times earlier on Saturday that it had not received all of the data it needed to publish its dataset on time at 2:15 p.m. The issue was an IT problem at the GGD municipal health service. The missing data was likely to be included with Sunday’s figures, a spokesperson told broadcaster NOS.
Still, the 8,669 total was down sharply from the 10,007 new infections reported a day earlier, Saturday’s total was 6.5 percent higher than last Saturday, and just slightly below the rolling average of the past seven days. Since Monday the RIVM has added 52,920 people to the list of those who tested positive for the viral infection. That total is 16 percent higher than the same period a week ago.
The three cities with the most residents testing positive for the infection were Amsterdam (745), Rotterdam (562) and The Hague (349). All three showed increases over the previous week despite the possibility of missing data. In Amsterdam, that rise was more than eight percent. Rotterdam showed a 38 percent hike, and new infections went up by nearly 16 percent in The Hague.
Another 55 deaths were also definitively linked to Covid-19, pushing the death toll in the Netherlands above seven thousand, to 7,019. A total of 281,052 people have now tested positive for a SARS-CoV-2 infection in the country.
At least 284 people with Covid-19 admitted to hospitals from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon, according to patient coordination office LCPS. Over 2,100 residents were being treated in hospitals for Covid-19, including two who were transferred to a facility in Germany. That total, which also includes 501 intensive care patients, has risen 35 percent in a week and was on pace to hit 2,850 by next Saturday.
On Friday after the RIVM reported the first daily increase of over ten thousand infected in the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, “That is really far too many.” He expressed concern over the “really quite high” percentage of people testing positive, and its impact on the healthcare sector.
He refused to rule out a stricter lockdown than the current partial lockdown, and said all options were still on the table. He did point to a closure of schools and care homes as being extremely disruptive to society.
“Fortunately, we are seeing that people have become more cautious in the past week” because of the partial lockdown, Rutte said. “That is not fun, I realize, and this is particularly difficult for affected entrepreneurs, but unfortunately it is necessary. I hope we will see the effects on the numbers soon.”
For now, per capita infections in the Netherlands are “about five times higher than you would like,” Rutte said.
The Prime Minister and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said that a decision would likely be made on Monday if any coronavirus measures and restrictions will become stricter. This could lead to another nationally televised press conference on either Monday or Tuesday night, Rutte said.