Coronavirus infection average over 50% lower than Dec. peak; Kuipers: Bigger drop needed
Some 4,822 more people in the Netherlands tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, bringing the seven-day average down to 5,655. That average was 52 percent lower than the highest average established in the Netherlands, 11,788, on December 22. The moving average fell by 22 percent last week alone.
Despite the falling infection figures, the chair of the acute care providers network said that the lockdown needs to remain in place for the time being. Ernst Kuipers also said during a press conference that there was justification to implement a curfew and to tighten up restrictions on the number of visitors allowed in a household.
"The time to intervene is now," he said. Kuipers was concerned about the B117 coronavirus mutation which originated in the United Kingdom. He said that he believes that every 100 people contagious with the strain more common to the Netherlands will infect 95 others. A hundred infected with the B117 variant will pass the virus on to 130 others.
"That is still a conservative estimate," he stated. "In the bleakest scenario, there will be 1,700 people in the ICU by the end of March, more than the peak [last] March."
Current hospital situation
Meanwhile, hospitals admitted 152 more patients into regular care for treatment of Covid-19 from Monday to Tuesday afternoon. That was the lowest single-day total since December 16. Intensive care units admitted 25 patients for the infection during that time, patient coordination office LCPS said.
Hospitals in the Netherlands were treating 2,429 people for the coronavirus disease on Monday, a net increase of 50 after accounting for new admissions, deaths and discharges. The total included 685 people in intensive care, up 14 from Sunday, and 1,744 in regular care, an increase of 36.
Despite the rise, the hospital total was about seven percent lower than a week ago. Should the average daily drop of one percent continue, the hospital tally could drop to about 2,250 by next Monday.
The agency also disclosed that 59 more people died from Covid-19, about a third higher than a week ago. That moved the seven-day average to 94.
To date, 917,308 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Out of that group, 13,056 died from Covid-19.
Monday's tally of 4,822 was 14 percent lower than on Sunday and 12 percent lower than a week ago. The three cities with the most new infected residents on Monday were Amsterdam (168), Rotterdam (142), and The Hague (71).
Early indications from preliminary RIVM data released last week showed that testing for the virus was up slightly, and that the percentage of those testing positive was headed down from 12.8 percent towards 11.5 percent. More data about this was set to be released by the RIVM on Tuesday.