Dutch COVID death toll much higher than reported in first wave: statistics agency - Metro US

Dutch COVID death toll much higher than reported in first wave: statistics agency

FILE PHOTO: Amsterdam begins an "experiment" with mandatory face masks in the busiest streets of the city

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Coronavirus infections have led to thousands more deaths in the Netherlands than officially registered, data released by the nation’s statistics agency on Thursday showed.

At least 10,000 people in the country of 17 million are likely to have died of COVID-19 during the first wave of infections between March and June, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said.

Health authorities had reported a total of 6,406 deaths as a result of confirmed coronavirus infections up until Wednesday.

The difference could be caused by positive tests not being reported to the health authorities, the statistics agency said.

Of the 10,067 it reported, 7,797 were people confirmed to have been infected with the new coronavirus who had died, while COVID-19 was noted as the most probable cause of death in 2,270 other instances.

The new coronavirus caused around 9,000 more deaths between March 2 and May 10 than in an average year, the CBS said, with a peak of over 6,000 COVID-19 fatalities in April alone.

After a drop over the summer, new infections have rapidly increased to record levels in recent weeks, topping 3,000 per day for the first time this week.

The Dutch government this week announced a raft of new measures to try to stem the new wave of infections, including nationwide advice to wear face masks in public spaces.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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