SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The number of people who died from coronavirus in the Netherlands rose overnight by 112 to 546, according to the latest update from the RIVM public health institute.
The number of positive tests hit 8,603 and 2,500 people have been or are being treated in hospital, the RIVM said. ‘As on Thursday, the number of hospital admissions and the number of people dying is increasing less quickly than it would have done without measures,’ the RIVM said.
‘If this continues for a few more days we will be able to conclude whether or not the measures which have been taken, such as social distancing and washing hands, is working.’
While most cases continue to be identified in Noord-Brabant, the number of positive tests in Zuid-Holland and Noord-Holland is rising relatively fast, the RIVM said.
The Netherlands is currently only testing people who are being admitted to hospital and healthcare workers for the virus, because of a shortage of test material. However, from Monday officials say they will be able to expand the testing base because laboratories at Wageningen University will be able to carry out 1,500 tests a day.
Currently some 2,000 tests are being carried out in the Netherlands on a daily basis, health minister Hugo de Jonge said earlier this week.
Although Dutch officials say they will have enough intensive care beds available for coronavirus patients, Germany has said it is prepared to take in some Dutch patients if necessary, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.
The Netherlands had 1,150 intensive care beds nationwide, but that is being ramped up to cope with the surge of coronavirus cases.