Coronavirus infections 28% above 7-day average; Hospital total on the rise
Coronavirus infections in the Netherlands were over 25 percent above the weekly average for the second consecutive day, public health agency RIVM said on Friday. The office learned of 4,761 new positive tests for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, a nine percent rise over a week ago, which pushed the seven-day average up to 3,733.
The moving average was just slightly below the level reported before the winter storm of February 7 and 8 hampered the ability to provide testing at a wide scale. After a meeting on Friday, outgoing Minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge, said it was unlikely he and Prime Minister Mark Rutte would announce a substantial change in the lockdown strategy during a press conference next Tuesday.
"If anything is possible, it will be small, cautious steps," he said to reporters. "The reality is that very little is actually possible." The country's lockdown has been in effect for nearly a month, non-essential stores have been closed for two, and the catering industry has been closed to in-person customers for four. Primary school students re-entered the classroom last week for the first time since mid-December, and more organizations were pushing the Cabinet this week to allow secondary school students to at least partially return.
So far this week, 18,405 people have tested positive for the infection, up 14 percent from last week. Friday's total included 213 new cases in Rotterdam, the most there since January 7 and significantly higher than its moving average of 125.
Covid hospitalized total increases for first time in over six weeks
Hospitalizations for Covid-19 have also risen by a daily average of nine percent over the past week. Between Thursday and Friday afternoon, hospitals admitted 200 more patients with the coronavirus disease into regular care, and 20 others into intensive care.
The below average ICU figure allowed the intensive care units to reduce their currently admitted Covid patient total down to 510, the lowest in 67 days. At the same time, the regular care total stood at 1,433, a net increase of 25 after accounting for deaths and discharges.
At 1,943, the hospitalization total stood two percent higher than a week ago, the first week-to-week rise since January 6. Should the increase continue for another week, an estimated 1,984 coronavirus patients would be in care next Friday.
The RIVM also said that it learned of 50 more cases where Covid-19 was listed as the cause of death, below the moving average of 60. Some 328 coronavirus deaths have been reported to the agency this calendar week, the same as last week.
To date, 1,047,400 people have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. A total of 15,138 people diagnosed with Covid-19 have died since last February.