RIVM: More coronavirus infections through Aug. 10 than all of July; Dozens more hospitalized
An official weekly report on coronavirus infections in the Netherlands showed that there was a 56 percent increase in new infections of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus for the seven-day period ending Tuesday morning. There were 4,036 infections during that time, according to Jaap van Dissel, a top virologist with public health agency RIVM. That was an increase from 2,588 during the previous week.
It means that more people tested positive for the virus in the first ten days of August, 4,715, than during the entire month of July, when 4,660 people were diagnosed with the viral infection. A total of approximately 59,973 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the virus since late February.
Van Dissel also said during a hearing on Tuesday that the percentage of tested individuals who give a positive result is also rising. Last week, 3.6 percent of those tested were diagnosed with the virus. The previous week that figure stood at 2.3% according to an RIVM report. In early July it was as low as 0.6 percent.
Between six and nine percent of those tested in the regions of Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Amsterdam, West-Brabant and Haaglanden were found to be carrying the virus.
Most new infections were reported in Zuid-Holland and Noord-Holland, but also in Noord-Brabant, especially in the west of that province. Utrecht also saw a large per capita increase in new infections, the RIVM said.
Another nine dead (6,159 overall), 38 hospitalized (11,994 overall)
Nine more people with respiratory illness Covid-19 died last week, three more than during the previous week. In total, an estimated 6,159 people are confirmed to have died from the coronavirus disease since the end of February.
Also last week, a total of 38 people were hospitalized for the disease, Van Dissel said during a parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday. That is a decrease of six compared to the previous week. The RIVM said that 11,994 people in the Netherlands have required treatment in a hospital while battling Covid-19.
The relatively low number of hospital admissions compared to the rise in infections was attributed to the relatively young age of the people who have tested positive in recent weeks, Van Dissel stated. Roughly a fourth of those testing positive last week were in their twenties, and many others were in their thirties.
At the same time, about half of those hospitalized were 60 or older.
The RIVM said that 1,195,475 tests for the virus have been completed since the end of February. That includes 832,403 tests since June 1, when the procedure was opened up to the general public.
Testing last week fell by eight thousand to 110,752. Roughly 100 thousand of those were handled by municipal health service GGD.
More travellers testing positive
During the committee meeting, Van Dissel also raised the alarm about more people returning to the Netherlands and then testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 with two weeks of their arrival. A report from the RIVM showed that 408 such people tested positive last week. Together, they make up about 43 percent of all recent travellers testing positive since July 1.
Last week, 91 of those who were found to be infected had recently been in France, 64 returned from Spain, 41 from Germany, 35 from Belgium, and 30 each from Malta or Turkey. The other countries on the list included Italy (18), Aruba (11), Austria (8), Greece (7), Poland (7), United Kingdom (6), Croatia (5), and Serbia (2).