First weekly drop in coronavirus infections since early July
For the first time since the beginning of July, the weekly total of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands dropped compared to the previous week. Early data from public health agency RIVM released on Sunday added 457 new SARS-CoV-2 infections to the Dutch total, for a total this week of 3,552.
That was about 20 percent lower than last week, when 4,438 people were infected. There had been six straight weeks where the total increased after the Netherlands hit a low point of just 436 infections for the week ending July 5.
The preliminary data showed that 37 more people with Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus strain, were admitted into Dutch hospitals for treatment between Thursday and Saturday. Twelve Covid-19 patients were moved into intensive care during that three-day period.
"The number of admitted COVID patients has remained virtually stable this week. The hospitals are currently able to handle the care for COVID and other patients well," said Ernst Kuipers, the head of the Dutch acute care providers network." All this, in combination with the leveling off of the number of new infections, is a reassuring signal, and will be all the more so when we manage to maintain this situation."
Of particular concern in recent weeks has been both the rising percentage of people testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus. For the week ending July 5, just 0.6 percent of people tested gave a positive result, a figure which stood above three percent from August 4 through August 18. This figure was likely to be updated in an official report from the RIVM expected on Tuesday afternoon.
On Sunday there were 171 people with the coronavirus disease in Dutch hospitals, including 129 patients outside of intensive care, two fewer than Saturday. The number of intensive care patients with Covid-19 remained stable and unchanged compared to the previous day at 42, patient coordination office LCPS said.
A total of 3,018 people in the Netherlands have been treated in intensive care for Covid-19 since late February. Some 1,957 of them were treated and discharged from the hospital, while 880 died in an intensive care unit, according to nonprofit organization NICE.