Coronavirus infections fell below 5,000 on Monday but the number of patients being treated in hospital increased slightly.
The latest figures from the public health agency RIVM show 4,873 new cases were recorded in the 24 hours to Monday morning, 576 below Sunday’s figure. The number is 4.1% higher than the recent low point six days ago.
There are currently 2,130 people in hospital with Covid-19, 573 of whom are in intensive care. Those figures are respectively 36 higher and eight lower than on Sunday. At the peak of the second wave on November 3, there were 2,653 patients in hospital of whom 609 were in the ICU.
Another 45 deaths were recorded on Sunday and Monday, while the average for the last seven days is 70. However, the virus is still spreading through care homes, with 677 residences recording at least one case in the last two weeks. That number has gone up from 655 a week ago.
Ernst Kuipers, chair of the national acute care network LNAZ, said the number of hospital patients could fall to around 900 by Christmas if the current trend continues.
Kuipers said ‘the biggest strain has eased’ but intensive care units were still under pressure because older patients, who spend more time on average in hospital, accounted for an increasing share of the total. ‘On the face of it 900 occupied beds is still a lot.’