The coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have spread to The Netherlands on 27 February 2020, when its first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Tilburg. Because there is not enough data available from the very beginning of the outbreak, I have left out of that report, the first ten days (Feb. 27 – Mar. 6).
First fortnight (Mar. 7 – 20, 2020)
During the first fortnight, there were 32,420 tests performed in the country (1,900 tests per 1M people) and there were 2,866 cases reported (9% of the total number of tests). Almost one out of five of them (21%) of these cases, were transferred to the hospital (638 hospitalizations) and of those hospitalizations, almost half of them (44%) ended up in the intensive care (281 patients in the IC). Last but not least, there were 106 deaths reported in the country (3% of total cases).
Second fortnight (Mar. 21 – Apr. 3, 2020)
During the second fortnight, there were +55,644 tests performed in the country (raising the rate to 5,100 tests per 1M people) and there were +12,729 cases reported (18% of the total number of tests – double than the first fortnight). Two out of five – again double the number of the first fortnight – (40%) of these cases, were transferred to the hospital (+5,643 hospitalizations) and of those hospitalizations, only 21% (the half compared to the first fortnight) ended up in the intensive care (+1,029 patients in the IC) – whereas +14 patients were sent to an IC in Germany. Last but not least, there were +1,381 deaths reported in the country (9% of total cases) – three times more than the first fortnight.
During that period of time, the largest concern in the country was the IC capacity, which was reaching its limit of 1,150 total IC beds. According to the officials, the expansion of the IC capacity started gradually in Mar. 24, 2020 so that it could reach the total number of 2,400 IC beds (almost double the initial figure) in two weeks’ time (Apr. 6).
Strangely “altered” severity
While the total number of hospitalizations, during the second fortnight, was 9 times more than the first one, it seems, by looking to the figures, that the “severity” of COVID-19 was strangely altered to fit the country’s IC-capacity at any time. The Prime Minister, M. Rutte, but also other health officials have repeatedly said that there was never a case, so far, where the triage scheme had to be considered as an option and that due to the expansion of the capacity of the intensive care.
First patients sent to Germany
At the same period of time, the first fourteen patients were sent to an IC in Germany. The first three patients in the first of April, followed by six more the next day and five more the day after.
Third fortnight (Apr. 4 – 17, 2020)
During the third fortnight, there were +66,847 tests performed in the country (raising the rate to 8,960 tests per 1M people) and there were +14,726 cases reported (19% of the total number of tests – almost the same with the second fortnight). One out of three – fewer cases compared the second fortnight – (31%) of these cases, were transferred to the hospital (+3,179 hospitalizations) and of those hospitalizations, only 13% (again less compared to the second fortnight) ended up in the intensive care (-75 patients in the IC) – whereas +38 patients were sent to an IC in Germany. Last but not least, there were +1,972 deaths reported in the country (almost 12% of total cases) – four times the rate of the first fortnight.
During the third fortnight, and while the number of reported cases has not declined but rather increased a bit, there were fewer hospitalizations (almost cut to half) and since Apr. 6 there were almost every day fewer patients in the intesive care in The Netherlands than the day before.
At the same time the number of patients sent to an IC in Germany was increasing to a total of 52 patients by Apr. 17, 2020.