RIVM: Fewer than 10,000 new coronavirus infections today; First time in 48 days
Three weeks after the evening lockdown was put in place, and three days after the total lockdown took hold, the RIVM reported 9,450 coronavirus infections. The infections were diagnosed between Monday and Tuesday morning. It was the first time the figure fell below 10,000 since November 3.
It was the fifth straight decrease in daily reported infections, and it brought the seven-day moving average down for the 16th consecutive day. The average, based on raw data alone, stood at 13,596. It was 18 percent lower compared to last Tuesday. A combination of raw and corrected data put the figure at 13,552/
Despite the decrease, the RIVM issued several warnings about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus on Tuesday. RIVM director Jaap van Dissel told Members of Parliament that the variant was responsible for 10 to 15 percent of new infections in the Netherlands. It was expected to become the dominant variant in Amsterdam this week, and should displace the Delta variant nationally by the end of December.
The three cities with the most new infections were Amsterdam (554), Rotterdam (304), and The Hague (285). That brought Amsterdam’s seven-day average to 625, level with last week. Rotterdam’s average has fallen 22 percent in a week to 476. The mean in The Hague has gone down 6 percent to 430.
“In the coming weeks it will also become clear whether the risk of serious illness differs between the Omicron and the Delta variant,” the RIVM said.
There were 2,369 hospital patients with Covid-19 on Tuesday afternoon, a single-day decrease of 61 after accounting for new admissions, discharges and deaths. The figure was about 14 percent lower than a week ago. A similar drop would put the total at 2,035, according to data from patient coordinator LCPS.
The current figure includes 615 people in intensive care, the same as on Monday. Twenty of them were being treated in Germany, an increase of one. The other 1,754 were in regular care wards at Dutch hospitals, a net decrease of 61.
Although the average number of Covid patient admissions has steadily fallen for over two weeks, the LCPS said it was “closely monitoring the impact of the Omicron variant on the infection figures. The effect this will have on hospital figures -influx and occupancy- remain unclear.”
Hospitals admitted 230 patients with Covid-19 since Monday afternoon, including 21 sent directly to an intensive care unit. On average, 219 were admitted each of the past seven days, a 28 percent decrease. That includes 30 sent directly to intensive care units.
“Because the rapid spread of this variant will lead to more infections in the coming weeks, the number of hospital admissions will also increase again. An increase that may well exceed the healthcare capacity. The new [lockdown] measures that came into effect on Sunday, December 19, should contribute to limiting the expected extra pressure on healthcare due to the Omicron variant as much as possible,” the RIVM stated.