Fewer than 1,000 coronavirus patients in IC, but ‘we are not there yet’ says Rutte

A further 100 people have been hospitalised with coronavirus in the Netherlands, while the overnight official death toll has risen by 120 to 4,409, the public health institute RIVM said in its Saturday update.

A further 655 people have tested positive for the disease, taking the total to 37,190 – although the true total is likely to be far higher, the RIVM said.

On Friday afternoon it emerged that the number of people being treated in intensive care had dipped below 1,000 to 963, of whom 41 are being treated in Germany.

The figures may show a continual downward trend in both deaths and hospital admissions but prime minister Mark Rutte told reporters on Friday ‘we are really not there yet’.

And despite the downturn in IC admissions, every day 25 to 40 people do end up in intensive care, Rutte said.

King’s Day

The prime minister also urged people to remain home over the holiday weekend, and only to venture out on Monday (King’s Day) for a breath of fresh air.

‘If we relax the rules any more quickly, the virus could break out again,’ he said. ‘Then we run the risk of a new wave of infections which the healthcare system will not be able to deal with. So we have to remain extremely cautious.’


While the official Dutch death rate is 4,409, the real rate could be as much as double this. On Saturday, family doctors reported 764 additional deaths which they suspect were down to coronavirus.

Doctors have been collecting their own figures for the past week, in an effort to get a better picture of how many people have actually died.

The doctors, who represent 20% of the total number of GPs in the Netherlands, also say they have treated some 1,800 people with coronavirus symptoms, most of whom were not tested for the disease.

The national statistics agency CBS said on Friday that some 4,300 people died in the week April 13-19, which is around 1,400 more than usually die at this time of year.

Given that the official coronavirus death toll only includes people who have been tested for the disease, the CBS figures give a ‘more complete picture’, the agency said. The official RIVM figures give a death total of 794 for week 16.

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