Lowest average of Covid cases since December 7; yet country may remain in lockdown until summer
While the number of daily SARS-CoV2 infections keeps falling, experts warn that the Netherlands is not yet in the clear. The country may remain under lockdown until the summer, warns the head of the Association for Intensive Care Diederik Gommers.
The public health agency RIVM reported 5,340 new cases on Saturday, a 12 percent decrease compared to the previous day and a 28 percent drop compared to last Saturday. The seven-day rolling average has been steadily declining and is now at 5,900, the first time this number has been below 6,000 since December 7.
This week’s number of Covid-19 infections is now at 34,641, a 22 percent decrease compared to the same period last week.
The three cities with the highest number of infections were Amsterdam (186), Rotterdam (100), and Utrecht (96). In Amsterdam, the new number of cases is a 31 percent decrease compared to Friday and a one percent increase versus last week. The number of cases in Rotterdam has gone down by 43 percent compared to the previous day and by 50 percent versus this time last week. Meanwhile, infections in Utrecht increased by 22 percent compared to Friday but decreased by two percent versus last week.
Hospital numbers continue to decline as well. On Saturday, the total number of Covid-19 hospitalizations were 2,360, a net decrease of 109 compared to the previous day. There were 1,694 patients in regular care facilities, a decline of 90 patients, and 666 IC patients, down 19 compared to Friday.
Still, experts are very wary of the mutated version of the coronavirus that came out of the UK. According to calculations by the National Acute Care Network (LNAZ), the new variant could lead to another wave of infections in March. Gommers adds that this could also be sometime in May. If that is the case, the country may remain in lockdown for an indefinite amount of time. “It could all take a long time,” says Gommers.
On Saturday, hospitals admitted a total of 247 new Covid patients. Among them, 212 were admitted to regular care, and 35 were placed in intensive care.
An additional 98 deaths were reported in the country, a two percent increase compared to the previous day and a 29 percent decrease versus last Saturday. To date, at least 12,965 people have died in the Netherlands from the infectious virus.
According to the nonprofit organization NICE, at least 34,593 regular care patients and 7,376 IC patients were successfully treated in hospitals since the beginning of the pandemic.