Dutch coronavirus infections top 7,100 for first time in a month; Average up 21%
Some 7,134 more people in the Netherlands tested positive for an infection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, public health agency RIVM said on Monday. It was the highest daily figure released by the agency since November 6. The tally was 55 percent higher than a week ago.
The seven-day rolling average stood at 5,874 on Monday. It was the fifth day in a row where the average number of new infections increased, a figure which has grown by 21 percent in a week.
Fears that the number of new infections were on the rise for the first time in a month seemed to be confirmed by preliminary data that showed a 12 percent increase in people testing positive for the infection last week compared to the previous week. It further cooled off prospects that the Cabinet might loosen the partial lockdown to permit larger gatherings of friends and family members in time for the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge were set to address the country during a press conference on Tuesday evening in which they said they would likely update the country about holiday group sizes, winter travel, and the possibility of schools closing for at least one additional week as an extension of school holidays.
Also making it unlikely that restrictions will be loosened in any meaningful way was the fact that hospitals moved 24 more Covid-19 patients into intensive care units over the past 24-hour period. That was level with the seven-day rolling average, a figure nearly 2.5 times that which De Jonge and intensive care leader Ernst Kuipers said was acceptable for opening the country back up again.
During that time, hospitals also admitted 150 people with disease into regular care, patient coordination office LCPS said. The hospitals were treating 1,660 patients for the disease on Monday afternoon, an increase of 19 which included 1,190 people in regular care, up 18, and 470 in an ICU, up by one.
Hospitals had been seeing significant improvement in their coronavirus patient levels up until last week when the rate of decrease slowed to a crawl. Still, the patient total was about four percent lower than a week ago.
The RIVM data released on Monday showed that Rotterdam had the most new infections of any other municipality, with 339. That was an 88 percent increase versus last Monday, and the city's highest total since November 8. Amsterdam (216) showed a 15-percent decline, and Deventer was third with 109, more than double its rolling average suggesting an outlying data anomaly.
There were 19 more deaths linked to Covid-19, which brought the rolling average to 47. To date, 9,704 people in the Netherlands have died from the disease.
The agency said that 564,291 people have tested positive for the coronavirus infection since the end of February.