Coronavirus infections below 5,000 for first time in six weeks
The number of new daily coronavirus infections in the Netherlands dropped to 4,986 on Tuesday, bringing the seven day average down to 7,082. It was the first time the daily total was below five thousand since December 2, the low point before a three week surge in infections which pushed the country into a hard lockdown on December 15.
Those societal restrictions included the closure of all non-essential stores, close contact professions, schools, and childcare facilities. The tighter restrictions were initially predicted to remain at least until January 19. That end date was likely to be extended by three weeks during a press conference scheduled for Tuesday night.
Rumors about the event with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Hugo de Jonge include the possibility that the Cabinet has made a new decision about implementing a curfew. That could be a response to the increase in coronavirus infections among 18-24 year olds last week, and little improvement among 13-17 year olds and those aged 25-29.
The Cabinet ministers could also announce that primary schools and daycare centers may be allowed to reopen on January 25. That would depend on the results of research into the spread of the UK mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus being carried out in a municipality near Rotterdam.
This calendar week, 10,485 people have tested positive for the coronavirus infection, a 20 percent decline compared to last Monday and Tuesday. Over the course of a week, the rolling average has also fallen by about 12 percent. That average was down 40 percent from a peak established on December 22.
There were 2,633 people being treated for Covid-19 in Dutch hospitals on Tuesday, an increase of 12 after accounting for admissions, discharges and deaths. “Despite an increase in the number of new admissions, we expect the downward trend of the past week to continue,” patient coordination office LCPS stated.
The total included 1,945 people in regular care, an increase of 19, and 688 intensive care patients, a net decrease of seven. During the 24 hours leading up to Tuesday afternoon, regular care departments admitted 310 more patients for the coronavirus disease, well above the rolling average of 240. Some 43 patients were moved into intensive care during that time, about a fourth higher than the average.
While optimistic, the LCPS warned of “uncertainties which can influence the trend,” naming the UK coronavirus mutation as one example. That said, the combined patient total was still nine percent lower than a week ago.
Should that trend continue, there will be about 2,400 patients in care next Tuesday.
To date, 883,135 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 infection since the end of February, Of that group, 12,563 died from Covid-19.