RIVM: No weekend Covid test data as infections, ICU figures fall
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) will no longer report figures on the number of positive coronavirus tests on weekends and holidays from Saturday. "This is in line with the current situation regarding the coronavirus," said the RIVM.
Fewer and fewer people are being tested for coronavirus at the GGD. From Monday, the official advice to have this confirmed in a GGD test center after a positive self-test will expire.
The institute will continue to monitor the development of the coronavirus. The infection rate is still reported on weekdays. However, these numbers can no longer be compared one-on-one, says a spokesman for the RIVM. That is because more and more people will do a self-test and no longer visit a testing center.
Anyone who needs a proof of recovery, for example to travel, may in the future still be tested at the GGD. The same applies to vulnerable people such as the elderly or someone with an immune disorder. Healthcare workers and people who cannot take a self-test are also welcome in the centers. With the new test policy, the government wants to place more responsibility on people themselves.
Due to the new rules, GGD Hollands Midden, among others, has announced that a number of test locations will close from Monday. A number of GGD Fryslân locations will also be closed from Friday. GGD Drenthe has adjusted the opening hours of the test locations. All locations at the GGD Kennemerland will remain open.
Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus patients in Dutch hospitals has continued to fall. A total of 1,484 people who have contracted the virus are still in the hospital. That is 66 patients less than a day earlier, reports the National Coordination Center for Patient Distribution (LCPS).
In the intensive care units, 103 patients remain, which is seven fewer than the day before. This is near the lowest level of ICU patients since last summer. The total number of patients in ICUs has stayed consistently under 200 for the about two months. As for regular care wards, the number of patients infected with coronavirus fell by 59 to a total of 1,381 people.
Although the pressure on hospitals is easing, the new vision for dealing with coronavirus is not working for everyone. People with disabilities and chronic illnesses feel especially threatened by the government's attitude and the new rules regarding the RIVM reporting positive tests.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times