New Covid-19 report shows 8 deaths, 16 hospitalizations; 69 test positive after travel

Doctor's hand holding a surgical mask in front of the Dutch flag
Doctor's hand holding a surgical mask in front of the Dutch flagAlexanderPiragisDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

At least eight more deaths in the Netherlands have been linked to coronavirus disease Covid-19, public health agency RIVM said on Tuesday. Sixteen more hospitalizations were also linked to the severe respiratory illness, the agency said in its first statistical update on the coronavirus situation in the Netherlands in a week.

The agency did not immediately identify when most of the newly-known hospital admissions or deaths took place. Those dates are crucial for putting the new data into context and determining trends.

Overall, 6,135 people in the Netherlands have died from Covid-19, and 11,892 have required treatment in a hospital. Some 51,146 people in the country tested positive for a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Last week a total of 534 people tested positive, an increase of 102 compared to the previous week. "Because it is plausible that not all people with COVID-19 will get tested, the actual numbers in the Netherlands are probably higher than the numbers mentioned here," the RIVM said.

The Dutch health authority said it also identified several localized clusters of infections in different parts of the country, with about 100 infections found through source and contact research. "We usually find these clusters in the household and family setting. In addition, local outbreaks are also visible in, for example, companies, nursing homes, in student housing or at a sports club."

Out of the 922 people who tested positive for the virus since July 1, 69 gave a positive test result within two weeks of completing their travel abroad. The most common destinations involved in their itineraries were Belgium (12), Germany (11), Serbia (10), Kazakhstan (8) and the United States (3). Six other countries were visited by at least two people who tested positive, and 13 others were visited by one known patient.

The travel histories of 12 others were not yet known, the RIVM said. "With the easings [of restrictions] and the holiday season on the doorstep, international travel is also starting up again. The travel histories will be mentioned from this week in the weekly epidemiological report," the RIVM stated.

In total, 764,079 mucus swab tests, used to identify an active infection of the novel coronavirus, have been completed since the end of February. Last week, at least 75,328 tests were completed, a number which could rise as at least one laboratory's results were not included in Tuesday's report.

The agency also pointed out that municipal health service GGD completed over 369 thousand tests since June 1, when anyone in the country could schedule an appointment for an exam. Of that total, one percent have shown a positive result, with that figure falling even as more tests were conducted. However, the agency said regional differences in the number of tests taken per capita could play a part in skewing that data.

"It is and remains important that people adhere to measures to prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible," the agency reiterated. That includes maintaining physical distance from people, practicing recommended hygiene measures, staying home whenever possible, and getting tested for an infection at the first sign of cold or flu symptoms. "This is how we keep the new coronavirus under control."