Dutch Covid-19 death toll rises by 21, just 5% of tests are positive

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The official coronavirus death toll in the Netherlands rose by 21 to 5,715 on Tuesday, the public health insitute RIVM said in its latest update.

A further 34 people have been admitted to hospital, the RIVM said. Both figures are higher than in recent days because of the time lag in weekend reports.

‘The number of people with coronavirus has been going down since the end of March,’ the RIVM said. ‘This can be seen from the number of new patients, hospital admissions, intensive care admissions and deaths.’

The number of people reporting to family doctors with symptoms is also decreasing, the RIVM said.

Tests too show a steadily declining positive rate. And the end of March, 29% of those tested for the virus had a positive result but this has now gone down to 5%, the RIVM said.

The number of positive tests rose by 108 overnight to 44,249. Despite the expansion of testing facilities to some 17,000 a day, just 30,000 people a week have been tested over the past three weeks.

Testing is currently limited to health service workers, teachers, the police and people showing serious symptoms.

The government plans to expand testing to cover everyone with symptoms from June 1. This, officials say, is key to ensuring the virus can be tracked when the lockdown is further eased.

The government is expected to say more about its plans at a news conference on Tuesday evening.

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