Dutch coronavirus infections fall to 15-week low; RIVM asks for caution
Coronavirus infections discovered in the Netherlands last week dropped to the lowest point since early February when testing was hampered by wind and snow. Despite strong decreases in infections and Covid-19 hospitalizations, the RIVM said that it remained very important for people to stick to the country's coronavirus measures to facilitate more improvements.
Covid-19 hospitalizations fell by 32 percent over the past seven days, dipping to 830, the lowest total in eight months. Regular care admissions fell by 36 percent to 644. Another 186 people were admitted into intensive care units, down 23 percent.
"The pressure on hospitals is now also decreasing visibly, but it is still high. That is why it remains important that everyone continues to adhere to the measures [including basic rules], so that the number of Covid-19 admissions and the number of infections continue to decline," the RIVM wrote in a statement.
Some 25,255 people were diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 infection for the week ending Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., a 28 percent from the previous week. It was the fourth straight week where infection figures fell. Out of those people who scheduled a coronavirus test, 10.4 percent tested positive.
That was a sharp fall from 12.2 percent reported by the RIVM last week. At the same time, there was another steep fall in those who scheduled a test. Some 239,259 visited the GGD for a coronavirus test last week, down 12 percent in a week, and more than 56 percent below the peak at the end of March. Testing was at its lowest point since the February cold snap kept people indoors and many testing facilities limited their operating hours.
An estimated 114 thousand people were contagious with the infection on May 17, according to the RIVM. That dropped from 130 thousand on May 10. The basic reproduction (R) number for the coronavirus dropped to 0.82 during the May vacation period, meaning 100 contagious people infected an average of 82 others. That figure had been 0.89 a week ago.
Per capita coronavirus infections fell to 147 per 100 thousand inhabitants. The decrease was seen across all age groups for the second straight week. Infections among those aged 18 to 24 rose to nearly 320 per capita, more than double the national average.
The RIVM said it also learned of 96 deaths tied to Covid-19 last week, slightly higher than the previous week. However, there is no obligation to report Covid-19 deaths to the RIVM, and preliminary statistics about deaths will be released by the country's national statistics office in a few months.
To date, people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus 1,631,384 times. The RIVM has reported 17,566 deaths, with Statistics Netherlands previously saying it knew of about ten thousand additional deaths.