New coronavirus cases below week’s average for 2nd straight day; Hospital total near 2,500
For the second day in a row, the number of new coronavirus infections reported in daily statistics was lower than the seven-day rolling average. Some 8,740 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 viral infection data released on Sunday showed.
It was 11-percent lower than the seven-day average, and about 7.5 percent lower than corrected statistics released a week earlier. The Sunday tally pushed infections for the week up to 68,791, about nine percent more than last week, according to the preliminary data from public health agency RIVM. Official data from the agency set for release on Tuesday could show that the rate of increase in new infections has declined steadily for two to three weeks, an indicator that the second wave of infections was flattening out.
What remains to be seen is if the ruling Cabinet in the Netherlands will consider the daily statistics improved enough to hold off on tightening up social restrictions beyond the partial lockdown in effect since October 14. The Cabinet will weigh advice from the RIVM and the Outbreak Management Team, and has used key data points like the number of infections, the percentage of new infections found against all those tested for the virus, the per capita infection rate, and the basic reproduction number of the virus.
"At least the last few days the messages have been much more moderately positive, but then there is also a question that needs to be answered: Do you want to accelerate the decline in the number of infections? Are there ways to do this and what is the economic and social damage that this entails? We have to weigh that well," Rutte said to reporters on Friday. A full press conference to announce the Cabinet’s short-term approach to the pandemic is expected on Tuesday evening.
The city with the most infections was Rotterdam (619), a 12.5-percent increase compared to a week earlier. Amsterdam had 528 new infections, a 21-percent decrease versus the previous week, while The Hague showed a 29-percent decrease with 288 residents testing positive. The Sunday totals for Amsterdam and Rotterdam were roughly equivalent to the seven-day averages in those cities, while in The Hague that total dipped to 361.
Covid-19 deaths rise by 32 percent; Hospital total far lower than predicted
It was also the second consecutive day where deaths attributed to Covid-19 were below the rolling average. On Sunday, the RIVM added 39 more deaths to the country’s total, which pushed the number of deaths reported this week up to 389, 32 percent more than a week ago. To date, 7,434 people have died from the coronavirus disease.
At least 237 more patients with Covid-19 were admitted into Dutch hospitals over the past 24 hours. During that time, 58 more people were moved into intensive care.
Overall, hospitals were treating 2,493 patients from the Netherlands for the coronavirus disease, a net increase of 45 after accounting for deaths and discharges. The intensive care units were treating 583 of these patients, a decrease of one, while departments outside of the ICU system were treating 1,910, an increase of 46.
The hospital total was 16 percent higher compared to a week ago, however that rate has slowed for three straight weeks. A day before the partial lockdown was announced, over 4,500 coronavirus patients were predicted to be admitted in Dutch hospitals on October 31.
During the course of the week, the hospital total rose by an average of two percent every day. If that rate of increase holds, there will be 2,900 coronavirus patients in hospitals by the end of next week. At the same time, that rate has risen and fallen in waves for three months, and has steadily fallen since October 9.
Since the beginning of the health crisis, intensive care units have treated 4,521 people for Covid-19, including 1,133 patients who died in treatment. Another 19,757 patients were treated outside of the ICU system, of which 2,670 died.
Nearly 18 thousand patients were eventually discharged from hospitals.