The RIVM’s latest figures reveal that there have been 1,066 new cases of coronavirus in the Netherlands, bringing the total number of cases to 32,655.
Additionally, there are 110 new hospitalisations. The total number is now 9,704. Lastly, there are 83 new reported deaths, bringing the total mortality count to 3684.
The hospitalisation figures show a continual decline, showing that the Outbreak Management Team’s expectation that intensive care units will go back down to their regular capacity by 1 May could be a real possibility. That means, in practice, that there will be 1200 total beds, of which 700 will be occupied by coronavirus patients.
The government has said that in order for normal life to begin to resume once again, three criteria need to be met. There needs to be less pressure on the healthcare system, there needs to be sufficient testing capacity, and there needs to be a way to track infections.
Here’s a look at some of our top pics from this week in coronavirus news.
Dutch companies develop software to diagnose coronavirus via X-ray
Two Dutch companies, Thirona and Delft Imaging, have developed a software that analyses the damage to someone’s lungs as shown on an X-ray, and uses a 100-point scale to determine whether the patient has coronavirus. This will be especially useful in poorer countries which do not have as much access to laboratory testing as wealthier countries.
Student housing units do not qualify as households
Seventeen students were fined this weekend for being out in public together, raising the question of whether those who live in student housing together should be counted as households or not. According to the police, they do not. But do students really deserve the condemnation they received from the public about this?
What will King’s Day look like this year?
From bells to national anthems to a special NOS broadcast, the details of this year’s King’s Day have been revealed. Of course, it’s going to be very different from usual, but hopefully will still be a heartwarming day. What are your plans for celebrating it (indoors)?
Delft students create ventilator design in just three weeks
Within three weeks, students at TU Delft have created a ventilator design, in order to help with the potential shortage of ventilators as a result of coronavirus. The government has put in an order of 500 machines with them, which should be delivered by the end of April.
3% of Dutchies have antibodies against coronavirus, early study shows
Only 3% of Dutch people have coronavirus antibodies, according to a study by blood donation organisation Sanquin. This is in line with the case in other countries, too. Not good news for herd immunity: but, according to Marion Koopmans, head of the Erasmus MC virology department, we would expect to see more people having antibodies further on in the epidemic, as they usually continue to appear up four weeks after infection.
Events could be canceled until September, but other restrictions may ease
The cabinet will be meeting at the start of next week to decide what to do about the current deadline of the coronavirus measures on April 27.
There is a proposal circulating among top officials stating that events could be cancelled until the first of September. Despite a possible ban on events until the first of September, the government is also looking into the possibility of relaxing other measures. This includes primary schools, after-school care, as well as the option of potentially opening up sports organisations for the youth.
Will the coronavirus vaccine be developed first in the Netherlands?
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, major pharmaceutical companies, governments and universities have begun the search for a vaccine, including here in the Netherlands. The President of the EU commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that a coronavirus vaccine would likely be developed by the end of the year which made headlines in several Dutch news sources. This forecast might be a little optimistic: but nonetheless, many pharmaceutical companies are currently investigating the possibilities.
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