AMSTERDAM–The hidden impact of coronavirus on registered deaths in the Netherlands is becoming clearer, with the publication of new figures from the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS). The figures show that since the end of March some 2,000 more people are dying than would have been expected for the time of year, the CBS said. The current official death toll from coronavirus in the Netherlands is 2,511, a figure that only includes people who have been tested for the disease.
The CBS analysis shows that 5,100 people died in the week ending April 5, but in the first 10 weeks of the year, some 3,100 people were dying on a weekly basis. That could indicate around 2,000 people died of coronavirus.
In the last full week of March, some 4,425 people died, the CBS said, leaving a further 1,300 deaths which could be coronavirus-related.
“The rising mortality rate coincides with the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis in the Netherlands,” the CBS said. “A more complete picture emerges by looking at the total weekly number of deaths as based on the data received by CBS, regardless of the cause of death,” the stat office said.
Based on information received so far, the elderly in the Netherlands are being hardest hit. The number of deaths among the elderly in the last week of March were up 44 per cent on previous weeks, but there is little change in the death rate among those below the age of 50.
Coronavirus is emerging as a major problem in nursing homes. Earlier this week RIVM infectious diseases chief at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM Jaap van Dissel told Members of the Dutch Parliament coronavirus cases have been identified in at least 900 of the Netherlands’ 2,500 nursing homes.
New figures issued by the RIVM on Friday show that 23,097 people have now tested positive for coronavirus, and 8,197 people have been or are being treated in hospital. That is an increase of 225 compared with Thursday.
There are also wide variations in the infection rate, the RIVM said. For example, 56 per cent of cases in the northern province Groningen involve healthcare workers, but only 11 per cent of those in southern Noord-Brabant where the epidemic took hold in the Netherlands. On average, 25 per cent of confirmed infections in the Netherlands involve healthcare workers.