Almost 9,200 more coronavirus infections today; Rolling average has surged 57%
The rising number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the Netherlands continued without relief on Saturday as 9,182 more people tested positive for the viral infection. This pushed the seven-day rolling average to 7,656, a number which has risen by over 57 percent in ten days.
This latest data release pushed the country past 600 thousand diagnosed coronavirus infections and ten thousand deaths caused by Covid-19. With 53 more deaths reported, the RIVM said it now knew of 10,019 coronavirus fatalities.
The dramatic surge in infections prompted Prime Minister Mark Rutte to summon members of the Cabinet and advisors on the pandemic to his official residence for an urgent, unplanned Sunday meeting. The expectation was that Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge would hold their second prime time press conference in a week to address the situation publicly, and to possibly introduce new stricter measures similar to the end of October and beginning of November.
Already 46,779 people have tested positive for the viral infection this week, about 47 percent more than the same period last week. Saturday’s tally was three percent higher than on Friday, and 40 percent higher than a week ago, data from the RIVM showed.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that tougher restrictions might be necessary before Christmas if the numbers keep rising. He reaffirmed this stance during debate in Parliament the following day, and top deputy Kajsa Ollongren, the Interior Minister, did the same during a brief news conference on Friday.
One key piece of data which could be used to justify new restrictions is the consistent increase in hospitalizations for Covid-19, which brought the total number of admitted patients in care on Saturday to 1,723, about eight percent more than a week ago. That put the Netherlands on pace to have over 1,855 hospital patients afflicted with the disease by the end of next week, a sharp, sudden reversal considering the progress hospitals had made during the month of November.
The patient total on Saturday included 1,242 people in regular care, an increase of 33, and 481 in intensive care, an increase of nine. The combined net rise of 42 Covid-19 patients was the most reported by patient coordination office LCPS since November 3.
Some 247 people with the coronavirus disease were admitted during the 24 hours leading up through early Saturday afternoon, the most in almost four weeks. Since Friday afternoon, 37 patients with Covid-19 were moved into intensive care, a figure which the government wants at about ten in order to feel comfortable loosening social restrictions.
The three cities with the highest number of new coronavirus infections on Saturday were Amsterdam (391), Rotterdam (287) and The Hague (284). All three showed an increase over last week’s data, with The Hague fully double where it had been, Rotterdam up 85 percent and Amsterdam up 14 percent.
All told, some 603,603 residents of the Netherlands have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 infection since the end of February, with the first death from Covid-19 disclosed by the RIVM on March 6. During that time, hospitals have treated 26,985 patients in regular care, and 5,864 in intensive care.
An estimated 5,267 of the coronavirus deaths in the Netherlands occurred during hospitalization, according to nonprofit organization NICE. Their data showed that the former coronavirus patients in intensive care had a survival rate of about 78 percent.