RIVM confirms 38% fall in weekly coronavirus cases; Hospitalizations fall by 44%
Just 8,981 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection over the past week, a drop of over a third. The number of people testing positive for the viral infection has fallen for seven straight weeks to reach its lowest point since mid-September.
The improving infection, hospitalization and vaccination figures have all been touted as reasons for the Cabinet to relax lockdown restrictions sooner. Back in April, the government laid out a six-step plan to abandon all coronavirus rules. Steps four and five are expected to be taken on June 26, weeks ahead of schedule.
This will significantly expand capacity for events, restaurants, cafes and museums, while allowing for amateur sports competitions to restart, as well as an increase in visitors that may be welcomed at home.
However, testing for the virus also fell to levels not seen since the last week of August. The RIVM said that 152,484 showed up for a coronavirus test at the GGD through Tuesday morning, a 22 percent week-to-week decrease.
At the same time, only 5.3 percent of those tested were diagnosed with the infection, down from 7.2 percent. About 53 people tested positive per 100 thousand residents. If the latter holds below 75 for two straight weeks, and the positivity rate drops below four percent, then the Netherlands will be downgraded to "orange", from the European Union's higher risk "red" level.
The data was presented by public health agency RIVM in a weekly report analyzing statistics for the seven-day period ending on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
It showed that there were still about 42 thousand people contagious with the viral infection on June 7, down from 61 thousand on May 31. The agency's model suggested that 100 contagious people infected about 78 others at the start of the month, a 13 percent improvement.
Hospitalizations quickly moving in the right direction
Hospitals in the Netherlands admitted 232 new patients with Covid-19 over the week-long period, just over half as many as the 414 cases reported a week earlier.
The 232 new patient admissions included 43 who were sent to intensive care, figures from intensive care monitor NICE showed. The ICU figure was down 10 compared to a week ago, equal to a decrease of 19 percent.
To date, 57,704 patients with Covid-19 have been treated in nursing wards at hospitals, with an 87 percent survival rate. The rate falls to 72 percent when looking at exclusively intensive care units, which have treated 12,804 people for the coronavirus disease.
Thus far, the Netherlands has administered about 12.5 million Covid-19 vaccine, including a record 1.8 million last week. People have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus 1,674,628 times since the start of the pandemic.
Covid-19 deaths reported to the RIVM numbered 17,715, including 21 last week. However, there is no obligation to report deaths from the disease to the RIVM. The country's national statistics office, CBS, estimated the total to be higher by about ten thousand.