Record number of coronavirus cases per day, hospital admissions ‘rising fast’
More than 19,000 people were reported to have tested positive for coronavirus in the Netherlands in the last 24 hours, breaking the previous daily record by almost 3,000.
Latest figures from the public health agency RIVM also showed 19.2% of all tests had a positive result, itself a record, while the seven-day average figure climbed to 14,499.
The 19,274 positive tests included some results from the weekend that were delayed because of technical issues. But on Monday more problems emerged when test centres in the major cities ran out of capacity for appointments.
Jacqueline Toonen, spokesman for the local health service network GGD, said efforts were ongoing to add more testing slots to the system.
‘We are doing our best to schedule everyone for a test appointment as quickly as possible,’ she said.
‘The high demand means people are sometimes having to wait longer or travel further to be tested. We ask people to be understanding. If people can’t get through straight away, we ask them not to put their phone on automatic redial but to try again later in the day.’
Ernst Kuipers, chair of the national acute care network LNAZ, said the number of patients in hospital was on course to reach last winter’s peak level of 2,800 by the end of next week at the current rate.
The figure increased by 122 on Monday to 1,985, its highest level since May 19. There are currently 380 patients being treated in intensive care, three more than on Sunday.
Kuipers told a technical briefing in parliament: ‘In the last seven weeks the number of admissions per day has increased sevenfold.
‘We have 250 admissions a day at the moment and it’s rising. In a week’s time we’ll be on 2,600. A few days later we’ll exceed the highest peak of last winter of 2,800 people. And the increase is far from over. Things are developing so fast that it’s very hard to predict.’
In the last seven days the RIVM has recorded an average of 24 deaths per day, compared to 23 a week ago. Not all deaths are reported to the RIVM; a later analysis of death certificates by the statistics agency CBS for the first 15 months of the pandemic found that the true figure was around 60% higher.
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