10,280 test positive for coronavirus; New infections could be flattening out
Some 10,280 more people tested positive for an infection of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus, Dutch public health institute RIVM showed in a dataset released Thursday. The data included information about people that should have been included in Wednesday's report, which was delayed due to an IT error at municipal health service GGD.
The seven-day rolling average climbed higher because of the news, reaching 9,708. That includes the only five dates with over ten thousand new infections reported, and two dates where incomplete data was supplied. For the week, a total of 39,071 have tested positive, a 14 percent increase compared to a week ago.
Thursday's total was about 11 percent higher than the previous week. However, the two-day average of the complete data from Wednesday and Thursday was virtually flat when compared to a week earlier.
The three cities with the most infections in Thursday's dataset were Rotterdam (576), Amsterdam (498) and The Hague (429). Each showed decreases compared to a week prior. The tally fell by 15 percent in Rotterdam, and by 39 percent in Amsterdam. Figures in The Hague fell by about four percent.
Rotterdam's total on Tuesday was almost equivalent to its seven-day average, while Amsterdam's figure was lower by about 100. The seven-day average in The Hague sat at 382.
Hospitalizations rise slightly but could be stabilizing
The national patient coordination office said at least 269 more Covid-19 patients were admitted to Dutch hospitals since Wednesday afternoon, slightly lower than the seven-day average of 272. There were 47 coronavirus patients moved into intensive care during that time, the same as the rolling average.
There were 2,384 residents of the Netherlands being treated for Covid-19 in hospital on Thursday, an increase of eight after accounting for deaths and released patients. That total included 553 patients in intensive care, eight more than Wednesday, and 1,831 outside of the ICU, the same as the previous day.
Two straight days of a lower than expected increase amounted to a "favorable development," said acute care leader Ernst Kuipers at a press conference on Thursday. "That would be fantastic" if this were to become a continuing trend, he stated.
The patient total was 19 percent higher than a week ago. This could be a sign the hospital situation is stabilizing, as the week to week increase has steadily fallen from a peak of over 60 percent on October 10.
Still, the intensive care total has doubled since October 13. Although the rate of growth shown by new coronavirus infections has become less severe, the Dutch medical system could be approaching a critical moment.
"This is exactly the critical moment when you check whether there is a leveling off," he said. However, if these infection figures do not drop quickly, the Cabinet will have to act again and impose more restrictions, he said.
Kuipers said on Wednesday that a worst-case scenario would be six thousand hospitalized Covid-19 patients on December 1, including over 1,550 in intensive care. "For the hospitals we really need to see a leveling off now, so that we reach a plateau at the beginning of November. If that does not happen, we will really be in trouble," he said during a briefing in Parliament.
Figures from nonprofit organization NICE show that well over 19 thousand people in the Netherlands have been hospitalized because of the disease since the beginning of the pandemic. Nearly 4,400 patients were treated in intensive care, including 1,099 who died in an ICU, and 2,396 who were eventually released.
The RIVM also said on Thursday that 62 more deaths were linked to Covid-19. The deaths of 7,258 people have been definitively linked to Covid-19 since the end of February.