New coronavirus cases, ICU levels soar; Week's vaccine estimate cut
Nearly eight thousand people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, and the Covid-19 intensive care patient neared 800, according to statistical updates released on Thursday. While the Netherlands managed to administer its three millionth dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, it also slashed the number of jabs expected to be given out this week by 20 percent.
Public health agency RIVM said that 7,833 more people tested positive for the coronavirus infection, the most in a week. Though slightly lower than a week ago, the figure was 22 percent higher compared to Wednesday. Daily infection figures have gone up three days straight, suggesting that the reduction witnessed during the Easter holiday was short lived. More people also showed up for a coronavirus test since Easter, but the percentage people tested positive also appeared to be on the rise continuing a three-week trend.
Still, the weeklong moving average for infections dipped by less than one percent to 6,728. The average has fallen each of the past seven days. It was ten percent lower than on April 1.
Covid in the ICU: Patient total jumps 4th time this week
Intensive care units in the Netherlands were treating 798 patients with Covid-19 on Thursday afternoon, the most since April 29, 2020. The figure rose by a net total of 22, the second day in a row where the ICU increase was over twenty.
The regular care wards saw a decrease of 55 patients to 1,727. Both acute and regular care combined accounted for 2,525 patients in total, a one percent drop in a day. The combined total has gone up nine percent in a week, with the Netherlands likely to have about 2,750 patients with the coronavirus disease by this time next week.
Healthcare experts angered that the Dutch government was considering an end to the country's lockdown said that hospitals are under enormous strain with an excessive patient load due to Covid-19. To make matters worse, some hospital departments are trying to handle the pressure with 20 percent fewer workers as staff members have gone on sick leave.
Covid-19 vaccine estimate for the week drops 20 percent
The Ministry of Health also quietly cut the estimated number of Covid-19 vaccines it expects people to receive by the end of the calendar week. On Monday, the ministry said 624,361 shots would be administered through Sunday. That figure was reduced down to 499,362, a 20 percent cut.
If the Netherlands achieves that figure, it would still be the highest number of shots administered in a week since the Covid-19 vaccine campaign began on January 6. The total would be around four percent above last week's figures.
To date, the country has administered 3,016,263 shots, with the four millionth expected in about ten days. However, just 52,308 vaccines were given on Wednesday, bringing the average over the past week down to below 63 thousand.
That will not be nearly enough to reach Health Minister Hugo de Jonge's goal of every adult getting access to at least one vaccine injection by the beginning of July. Some 14.4 million adults live in the Netherlands.
Since the end of last February, people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the coronavirus infection 1,327,136 times. The RIVM said it knows of 16,691 people who died from Covid-19, though the country's official statistics office said that real total is at least 20 percent higher.