The Dutch death toll from coronavirus rose by 166 in the public health institute RIVM’s latest update, taking the total to 1,339. The number of hospital admissions was up 625 to 5,784 while there were over 1,000 more positive tests.
The deaths and hospital admissions figures are sharply higher than the Wednesday update, but the RIVM warns that official reporting times may lag. In addition, the figures continue to be lower than they would have been without the government’s social distancing measures.
Meanwhile, experts have suggested that a large number of the rules currently in place to combat coronavirus could last for months, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday.
‘I think it will be July at the earliest before there is more room to move,’ Leiden University virologist said.
The RIVM has not made any concrete predictions but its infectious diseases chief Jaap van Dissel told MPs on Wednesday that he expects the pressure on intensive care facilities to hit a peak in May and only to drop below 1,200 – the current level – in mid July.
‘You have to stick with a lot of measures until you have the virus really under control,’ he said. ‘Because as soon as you stop, the spread will only increase again.’
One hopeful sign is the fact that the more is known about the disease, the better the measures can be targeted, Groningen virologist Bert Niesters said. However, it will be a long time before the cinemas can reopen and music festivals can take place, he said.
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