RIVM: Face masks not needed in crowds, Quarantine can be limited; Covid patient total falls
As far as the RIVM is concerned, people no longer need to wear a face mask in busy, crowded areas. The advice to quarantine as a precaution if someone has been in contact with someone infected with coronavirus can also be stopped, the RIVM said in advice to the Cabinet published on Thursday. The quarantine advice contributes little to combating the transmission of the coronavirus, and it can have major social consequences, the RIVM argued.
Clear behavioral advice must be given to those people have been in contact with someone who is infected with coronavirus. They must be extra alert to symptoms, get tested when symptoms emerge, and avoid contact with vulnerable people for ten days, the RIVM wrote to the Cabinet.
"Now that the emphasis is increasingly on personal responsibility, this is also the message that can be given regarding wearing a mask over the mouth and nose," the RIVM wrote. People in vulnerable health can, for example, put on a face mask for self-protection when in contact with others. Healthcare staff should also put on a mask when in contact with vulnerable people.
The advice to self-isolate when one acquires the coronavirus must remain, the RIVM said. In view of the "declining, but still high numbers of infections,” the health institute thinks it is too early to abolish this measure.
Health Minister Ernst Kuipers had asked RIVM for advice about the coronavirus measures currently in force. That advice was sent to the House on Thursday.
Covid patient total falls towards 1,300; ICU tally holds below 100
The number of Covid-19 patients in Dutch hospitals decreased by 55 to 1,307 on Thursday, according to the latest figures from the LCPS. Compared to a week ago, the patient total has decreased by 18 percent. Just over two weeks ago, more than 2,000 people with the coronavirus were in hospital care.
After accounting for new admissions, discharges, and deaths, there were five more patients which were added to the intensive care units. There are now 94 people infected with the coronavirus in the ICUs. In the regular care wards, the number of people with the infection fell by 60 to 1,213. Eight new coronavirus patients were admitted to the intensive care units since Wednesday. Another 130 patients entered the regular care wards.
The number of positive coronavirus tests has fallen again. The RIVM reported that 4,699 people were told that they were infected with coronavirus between Wednesday and Thursday morning. The day before, the health institute learned of 4,947, and over 6,000 infections were reported on both Monday and Tuesday. Over 10,000 positive tests were completed for Friday’s data.
This week, the official advice to confirm a positive self-test with the GGD expired. That has led to a steep and sharp reduction in the number of tests carried out daily, which has fallen to levels not seen since the summer of 2020.
Amsterdam again had the most confirmed infections on Thursday with 311. Rotterdam came in second with 226, and The Hague was in third with 151. Utrecht was the only other city with more than a hundred infections, where 143 residents were infected. On Thursday, 11 new deaths caused by Covid-19 were reported, but that does not mean that these are people who have actually died in the past 24 hours.
Reporting by ANP.