Grim milestone: Number of Covid deaths surpasses 10,000 in The Netherlands
The Netherlands reached another grim milestone. On Saturday, the number of people who have died as a result of Covid-19 has surpassed 10,000. This was reported by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
On Saturday, another 53 deaths were reported bringing the total number of fatalities to 10,019 since counting began. On March 6, 2020, the first coronavirus related death was confirmed in the Netherlands. He was an 86-year-old patient who died in the Ikazia Hospital in Rotterdam.
The viral infection remains most lethal to older people. According to RIVM data, about 90 percent of the known deaths were people aged 70 or above. Furthermore, the statistics shows that the coronavirus infection is more fatal for men. Though 54 percent of known infections occurred in women, men accounted for 55 percent of the fatal outcomes.
The first coronavirus wave in the Netherlands saw a significant surge in deaths that likely indicate many thousands more people died from the coronavirus disease than were formally diagnosed. Testing for the SARS-CoV-2 infection was highly limited during the first six weeks of the crisis, and testing was still not performed at a wide scale until June 1.
At the beginning of April, during the likely peak of the first wave, the RIVM reported around 170 coronavirus deaths per day while the excess mortality in the Netherlands recorded by statistics bureau CBS suggested the true numbers were far higher. Ernst Kuipers, the chair of the Dutch acute care providers network, called it a “tidal wave.” Comparing it to the current wave, he explained that the first wave “had a very high wave crest, but then it subsided. This [second wave] is more a tsunami, the wave height is not that high, but the water pressure that comes after it continues on and on.”
Since April, the mortality rate has dropped. However, in the past week, the RIVM still reported around 50 daily covid-related deaths on average. The average amount of new daily cases surpassed 7,600. On Saturday, the number peaked at 9,182, the highest since October 31.
These bleak numbers indicate that the Dutch people are nowhere near being in the clear, as the presumed break in the second wave was rising back towards another new peak. During his press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that “we are now at a crossroads. Either we together ensure that the figures go in the right direction, or the figures continue to rise.”
He also announced that he “will not rule out that we have to enforce even stricter measures before Christmas.” A meeting at the Catshuis, the Prime Minister’s official residence, has been announced for Sunday, where cabinet members will discuss further measures to tackle the coronavirus.