Covid-19 hospital total drops 5%; ICU tally falls further
Hospitals in the Netherlands were treating 2,345 people for Covid-19 on Wednesday, roughly five percent lower in a day. The decrease of 135 patients was mainly seen in the regular care wards, but the intensive care total also reached its lowest point in 38 days.
There were 738 patients with the disease in an ICU, a net decrease of ten. The total fluctuated after reaching a peak of 839 on April 22, and has steadily fallen by 11 percent just since May 5.
The regular care wards were treating 1,607 others, down 125 in a day. Both the ICU and the regular care totals dipped to their lowest figure since April 4.
Between the afternoons of Wednesday and Thursday, hospitals admitted 249 patients, bringing the seven-day moving average down to 257. The Outbreak Management Team advising the Cabinet to wait to relax lockdown restrictions further until after the average figure has fallen by 20 percent from the peak in the third wave, which according to LCPS figures would be about 250.
The 20 percent target has nearly been reached, agreed both Ernst Kuipers of the country's acute care providers network LNAZ, and Jaap van Dissel of the RIVM. The two used different datasets to draw their conclusions during a parliamentary committee meeting on Wednesday.
Kuipers speculated that even in an optimistic scenario there will still be about 1,200 Covid-19 patients by the end of June, which could be higher if the vaccination program hits a snag. For hospitals to restart serious operations, like transplants, the ICU total will have to fall below 500. About 38 percent of hospitals are still postponing scheduled procedures.
Van Dissel was concerned that there are still around 150 thousand people contagious with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the Netherlands, a figure which could rise higher if testing levels increase after the May vacation holidays. "But we seem to have passed the peak," he said.
People tested positive for the coronavirus infection another 6,422 times, the RIVM said on Wednesday. That brought the seven-day average down to 6,654, roughly nine percent lower compared to a week ago.
Although the daily total was 12 percent lower compared to a week ago, it was 15 percent higher versus Tuesday's data. Rotterdam (365), Amsterdam (277) and The Hague (189) led all municipalities with the most new infected residents.
The RIVM also estimated that 134,148 people received Covid-19 vaccinations on Tuesday. That brought the moving average up to 123,208. That average figure will have to rise by over 14 thousand to meet the Ministry of Health's target this week of nearly 963 thousand.
To date, people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the coronavirus infection 1,577,754 times.