Nearly a thousand more test positive for Covid-19; Big increase over last week
Some 987 people in the Netherlands tested positive last week for an active SARS-CoV-2 infection, the novel coronavirus responsible for respiratory illness Covid-19. The figures showed a dramatic 84 percent increase compared to the previous week, when 534 people tested positive. It was also more than double the total of the first week in July when 432 people gave a positive result.
"The new coronavirus is spreading again in the Netherlands," public health agency RIVM said in a statement. "The number of people infected with the new coronavirus is increasing," the RIVM continued. It said there were 96 active Covid-19 clusters in the Netherlands affecting an average of 5.4 people, with the worst being 23 cases tied to a bar in Hillegom, Zuid-Holland. Most of the clusters are tied to households, workspaces, parties and groups of friends.
Last week was the first time since March 15 that the basic reproduction number of the virus was above 1.0 even when taking margin of error into account. The RIVM said the figure reached 1.29, which means that 100 infected people will likely infect 129 more people. The Dutch government has previously said that if this number rises above 1.0 it will consider new restrictions to enforce physical distancing in the country.
The data from the RIVM showed that a total of 52,073 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for a SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic, out of 851,885 completed mucus swab tests. Roughly 89 thousand of those tests took place last week, a 16 percent increase. At the same time, the percentage of people testing positive also rose to one percent, whereas the previous week it was 0.6 percent.
Newly reported deaths and hospitalizations
In the same report, the agency confirmed the deaths of seven more people from the respiratory illness. These deaths took place beginning on July 5, with the last three fatal outcomes reported on July 15. So far, 6,136 people have died from Covid-19 in the Netherlands.
Additionally, 19 more hospitalizations were linked to the coronavirus disease. Twelve of those hospital admissions took place from July 12 through July 19. Five more took place between the end of March and the end of June. No data was available about the other two cases.
To date, 11,902 residents of the Netherlands have required hospitalization for the coronavirus disease.
The agency stressed that people continue to take preventive measures to slow or stop the spread of the virus, including keeping a safe physical distance from people and practicing good hygiene. "This also applies to staying at home, working from home, and getting tested when the first symptoms surface.
Nearly a hundred new infected patients visited a foreign country
At least 97 people who tested positive for the viral infection in the two-week period from July 5-19 had travelled out of the Netherlands shortly before getting their positive test result. The RIVM said it knew of 22 people who had visited Belgium within 14 days of getting tested for the infection, and 14 who visited Germany. Another 12 had stayed in Serbia, nine in France, and five in Spain.
The other countries on the list included Kazakhstan (4), the United States (3), Egypt (2), Ghana (2), India (2), Portugal (2), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1), Croatia (1) and Turkey (1).