Coronavirus infections set new six-week high; hospitalizations up 3 percent for the week
The daily number of SARS-CoV-2 infections rose again on Saturday. Another 5,378 people tested positive for the viral infection in the Netherlands, reported public health agency RIVM. This is the highest number of daily cases since February 23. Saturday's single-day tally was 14 percent higher than on Friday and was an eight percent increase compared to last week.
The seven-day average is now at 4,563, a one percent drop compared to last Saturday. Infections for the calendar week are at 27,214, a two percent decrease compared to the same period the previous week.
The three cities with the most new infections on Saturday were Amsterdam (312), Rotterdam (217), and The Hague (156). In the Capital, infections went up 27 percent compared to last week. In Rotterdam, new infections rose by 31 percent compared to last Saturday. In The Hague, this number was a 44 percent increase.
Meanwhile, the total number of Covid-19 patients being treated in hospitals decreased by three percent since the previous day. The weekly hospitalization rate, however, rose by three percent. Dutch hospitals treated a total of 1,863 Covid-19 patients on Saturday, a decrease of 48 patients compared to the previous day.
24 patients were stationed in intensive care wards, one more than the previous day. Another 1,321 patients were being treated in regular care, down 49 compared to Friday. If this current trend continues, there will be around 1,923 hospitalized Covid-19 patients Saturday next week.
Between the afternoons of Saturday and Sunday, hospitals admitted 212 new coronavirus patients. Among them, 176 were placed in regular care wards, a five percent decrease compared to last week. Another 36 patients were moved to the intensive care, a 64 percent increase compared to last Saturday.
While information leaked by the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) indicated that Covid-19 restrictions in nursing homes might be loosened as soon as Monday, many politicians warn that it is still too early to relax. Prime Minister Mark Rutte indicated earlier this week that "we have already made a number of relaxations and with that we are already taking a risk."
An estimate from the RIVM also showed that, so far, 1,571,318 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered. That was an additional 44,304 injections in one day, bringing the number of vaccines in the past seven days to 285,576. Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control shows that the Netherlands ranked eighth among EU countries for the first dose of the vaccine uptake. Currently, around eight percent of the Netherlands' residents eligible for a vaccine have received at least their first shot.
Another 42 deaths were also reported as being caused by Covid-19, the RIVM said. That brought the seven-day average to 38. Fatal cases of the coronavirus disease went down by 23 percent for the week, the RIVM data showed.
To date, 1,115,549 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the SARS-CoV2 infection. That includes 15,803 people who died from Covid-19.