Saturday 28 November 2020

More positive coronavirus tests, but the situation is stabilising: RIVM

Social distancing in a hospital waiting room. Photo: Odi Busman

The number of newly registered positive coronavirus tests topped 11,000 on Friday, but the public health institute RIVM says there are signs the figures are stabilising.

In total, 11,141 cases were recorded in the 24 hours to Friday 10am, up 865 on Thursday’s figure. However, there have been problems with the public health board computer systems twice in the past six days, which have made it difficult to assess if the partial lockdown introduced two weeks ago is having an impact.

‘There are more catch-up reports than normal,’ an RIVM spokesman told the AD. ‘The health boards have also stepped up testing and the number of positive tests has remained stable.That is positive. Now we just have to stick to the rules.’

In total, almost 1,800 of Friday’s new cases are more than two days old, the AD said.

Hospital admissions are also slowing down, rising 250 in the 24 hours to Friday morning, which is a drop of 19 on Thursday’s total. In addition, 37 patients were admitted to intensive care beds, mainly from ordinary hospital wards. This too is a reduction on Thursday.

In total 2,385 people are now being treated in hospital of whom 567 are in intensive care. ‘The coming days will show if this trend will continue,’ said Ernst Kuipers, head of the acute hospital services association LNAZ.

Despite the stablisation of hospital figures, the coronavirus death toll is increasing, with 87 deaths reported overnight. On average 54 people have died from the virus every day over the past week, compared with an average of 37 in the week earlier period.

Prime minister

Prime minister Mark Rutte told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting that it is still too soon to say if the partial lockdown is working but that ‘there does appear to be stablisation’.

‘We will be looking at testing results and hospitals closely in the coming days,’ he said. ‘Then we will say if more measures are needed.’

He and health minister Hugo de Jonge will hold a press conference next Tuesday to outline the latest situation, he said.

Excess deaths

Meanwhile, national statistics agency CBS has said the excess death toll in the week to October 25 was almost 600, meaning 600 more people died than statistics would indicate.

The official coronavirus death toll that week was 212, but the RIVM only includes people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the figures. The CBS people says the unexpected increase in deaths mainly affects the over 60s and people who need long term care.

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