The latest figures from the RIVM have been released. Today, 142 new deaths have been recorded, bringing the total to 3,601 deaths; 129 new hospitalizations have occurred, bringing the total to 9,594; and 1,140 new cases have been recorded, bringing the total to 31,589.
Now, as you probably already know, these numbers are not fully accurate. There is no widespread testing in the Netherlands, so the real number of coronavirus cases is probably much higher. Deaths and hospitalisations are not always recorded on the day they take place, the RIVM notes itself. From today onwards, GPs will be able to register suspected cases of coronavirus with the RIVM, though these figures may not be made public immediately.
How many beds are available in the ICUs?
Because of this uncertainty around figures, the number everyone is paying attention to at the moment is the number of people in the intensive care units with coronavirus. At the moment, this is well under the total availability and has been steadily dropping over the past few days. The Outbreak Management Team expects to be able to return the number of ICU beds to 1200, the regular amount, by 1 May.
Today 1235 patients related to the #coronavirus are on the intensive care. This is 23 less than yesterday and the sixth consecutive day with a decrease of occupied IC beds. #coronavirusNL #coronaNederland pic.twitter.com/wJsDhNTVRk
— TAG (@itsTAGofficial) April 17, 2020
Along with today’s daily update, we’re bring you three long reads that hopefully will bring a smile to your face. From supporting local businesses to bird watching, today’s selection is all about finding reasons to be cheerful during coronavirus.
How to support your local businesses in The Hague
Times are tough for local businesses as a result of coronavirus, so we put together an article on how you can support them. This particular article is about The Hague, but we’ll be coming out with more of these about different cities in the Netherlands over the next couple of weeks. Plant stores, cafes and restaurants are big in this one, so get reading!
Birdwatching from your backyard or balcony
Something that has been rising in popularity in the Netherlands over the past weeks of lockdown is birdwatching. Birds, of course, have been there all along, but now we have time to pay them the attention they deserve. Plus, it is the best time of year to watch them: they’re nesting, and some species are coming back from the south. Check out our guide to some awesome Dutch birds, from ravens to seagulls.
Will the coronavirus vaccine be developed 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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