8,800 new coronavirus infections: The most since Oct. 31
For the first time in 40 days, the daily total of new coronavirus infections reported by the RIVM was over 8,700. The Dutch public health agency said on Thursday that another 8,793 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, raising the seven day rolling average to 6,861.
That average has jumped up by 41 percent in just eight days. It had fallen steadily from a peak of over 10 thousand on October 31 to a little over 4,800 by December 1. The increase correlates with a theory from the RIVM that crowded shopping streets and city centers during Black Friday sales and last minute shopping leading up to December 5, a traditional gift giving day in the Netherlands.
Labour leader Lodewijk Asscher was critical of the Cabinet for not announcing new restrictions on top of the current partial lockdown. "The message was: things are going badly and we are doing nothing," he said during a debate in Parliament on Wednesday night. Other MPs agreed, and asked why the Cabinet appeared to be moving slowly on the issue.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte replied, saying that the infection figures over the course of the week will guide further policy. He said that regardless of any new restrictions, households will be allowed to welcome up to three guests over the age of 12 per day during the Christmas holiday.
Data from the RIVM showed that the three cities with the most infections were Amsterdam (413), Rotterdam (280) and The Hague (273). While Amsterdam and Rotterdam rose a respective 24 and 30 percent compared to a week ago, figures in The Hague more than doubled. Data also suggested surges in other cities, like Utrecht, Almere, and Tilburg.
Daily hospitalizations remain well above benchmark for loosening restrictions
Hospital admissions for Covid-19 also remained relatively high, considering the government wants daily regular care admissions to fall to an average of 40, and intensive care admits to drop down to 10. Leading up to Thursday afternoon, hospitals took 198 more patients into regular care (rolling average: 184), and moved 26 people into an ICU (rolling average: 27), according to the LCPS.
After taking into account deaths and discharges, the number of hospital patients being treated fell to 1,648 on Thursday, down 36 from the day before. The LCPS said that 469 of those patients were in an ICU, a decrease of 4 from Wednesday, and 1,179 were in regular care, a drop of 32.
The patient total was still about three percent higher than a week ago, suggesting an upward trend after one full month of declining figures.
There were 66 more deaths also linked to Covid-19, moving the rolling average to 49. To date, 9,902 people have been confirmed as having died from the disease.
A total of 585,685 people have tested positive for the virus since the end of February, which led to 26,466 regular care hospitalizations, and 5,803 ICU admissions. Regular care patients had a survival rate of about 86 percent, while the ICU patients survived 69 percent of the time, excluding current patients.