Drop in hospitalisations means next week's relaxations look increasingly likely
At the press conference on May 11, Prime Minister Mark Rutte revealed that, if the number of coronavirus patients in Dutch hospitals fell by 20 percent over the course of the week, a handful of coronavirus restrictions would be lifted on May 19. The good news is that the number of coronavirus infections and hospitalisations is continuing to fall, and the relaxations planned for Wednesday are looking increasingly likely.
Coronavirus situation in the Netherlands looks hopeful
Several projections had shown that the number of hospitalisations and infections could fall significantly this week, but members of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) were concerned about rushing into the decision to lift further restrictions. However, figures suggest things are heading in the right direction.
On May 13, 6.088 infections were reported, over 400 fewer than the average from the previous seven days. On May 12, 163 hospital admissions were reported, 50 fewer than the average from the previous seven days. In addition to this, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced that the Netherlands had reached the significant milestone of seven million coronavirus vaccinations on Thursday.
All these figures have significant implications for the number of coronavirus patients being treated in hospitals across the Netherlands. On Thursday, the National Coordination Centre for Patient Distribution (LCPS) reported there were 1.231 coronavirus patients in hospital, 204 fewer than were reported on Sunday and 114 fewer than on Wednesday.
Amsterdam reports increase in number of coronavirus infections
It would seem that this news means the OMT is feeling more hopeful about lifting restrictions on Wednesday. The head of the Department of Medical Microbiology at Amsterdam UMC and OMT member Menno de Jong told Het Parool that “all in all, the stars for easing are quite favourable,” but raised concerns about the coronavirus situation in Amsterdam.
Earlier this week, the OMT revealed that King’s Day celebrations had led to at least 16 coronavirus clusters and 466 infections in Amsterdam alone. While national figures are falling, last week saw the number of infections rise by 17 percent in the Dutch capital.
De Jong highlighted that hospitalisations had continued to fall in Amsterdam and that new infections were mostly reported among young people who were less likely to be admitted to hospital for treatment. However, he did note that in the past, an increase in infections in Dutch cities seemed to mark the start of a national trend, but that everyone would have to wait for a few weeks to see if that was now the case.