Thursday 23 September 2021

Coronavirus cases near 9,700, as more hospitals halt non-essential care

Amsterdam has banned outdoor drinking in places to reduce social contacts. Photo: DutchNews.nl

A total of 9,648 new coronavirus cases were reported to the public health institute RIVM in the 24 hours to Thursday 10am, the highest number since January 7 and 1,134 up on Wednesday.

The number of new infections is always highest on Wednesday and Thursday because of the weekend time lag. Nevertheless, the increase takes the average over the past seven days to 8,272, a rise of 15% week on week.

The number of people being treated in hospital has also risen to 2,682, of whom 839 are in intensive care wards.

Almost 40% of Dutch hospitals say they have now had to cut critical care services to cope with the influx of coronavirus patients, the Dutch health authority NZA said on Thursday.

Critical care is treatment which needs to be carried out within six weeks to prevent unnecessary damage to health.

Regular care is also being delayed because of the pressure on hospital services. One in four hospitals has stopped all routine operations and treatment.

However, Jaap van Dissel, head of the RIVM and chairman of the government’s OMT advisory group, said he expects hospital admissions to decline in the coming weeks, and that the decline should be clear by May 1.

The number of vaccinations given has now reached 4.87 million, according to health ministry estimates. This is the number of doses, not the number of people who have had one or two shots.

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