The Netherlands has passed the threshold of 500,000 positive coronavirus tests, figures published on Thursday by public health institute RIVM show. In total, 503,123 positive tests have been registered with the RIVM since the outbreak began in February.
At the same time, the number of overnight positive tests fell sharply, declining almost 500 on Wednesday’s total to 4,506. The daily total of positive tests is currently fluctuating wildly, but has averaged 5,164 over the past week. On Wednesday the figure was up 1,000 on Tuesday’s total.
Experts say the downward trend which set in at the end of October has now stagnated and an RIVM spokesman told news website Nu.nl that the decline is ‘much slower’ than had been hoped.
Nevertheless, the number of people in hospital continues to decline – dropping to 1,781 on Thursday, of whom 524 are being treated in an intensive care unit.
The RIVM has also told ministers that it would be irresponsible to relax some of the coronavirus measures now, and health minister Hugo de Jonge has hinted the current package could be in place until mid January.
De Jonge and prime minister Mark Rutte are due to give a new update on December 8.
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