Sudden rise in Dutch coronavirus infections continues
Public health agency RIVM announced on Saturday that 654 more people were diagnosed with a SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus infection, a 31 percent increase from the previous Saturday. It brought the week's total of new infections up to 3,732, up 21 percent compared to the same point last week. The Netherlands will conclude the week with more new infections from Monday through Sunday for the first time in three weeks.
More people have been getting themselves tested for the virus in the Netherlands since mid-August, leading to a public appeal to only request testing from the GGD municipal health service when symptoms of the infection arise. Earlier in the week, the GGD warned that they were under pressure and unable to provide many people with a test within 48 hours of their request.
It was not immediately clear if the increase in infections was linked to an increase in testing, or an increase in the percentage of people producing a positive test result. That information was expected to be released in a weekly report from the RIVM on Tuesday. To date, about 74,500 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the virus.
The RIVM also said that between Wednesday and Friday, 17 more people have been admitted to a Dutch hospital with Covid-19, the illness caused by the infection. Six people were also moved into intensive care during that time.
"The number of admitted COVID patients is low and stable; 56% of them are located in the regions of Brabant, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. This is in line with the regional contamination figures," said Ernst Kuipers, the head of the Dutch acute care providers network.
Intensive care units have treated about 3,050 for the coronavirus disease since the end of February, including 35 current patient, a figure which remained unchanged on Saturday. Outside of intensive care, hospitals were treating 99 patients for Covid-19 on Saturday, an increase of five compared to the previous day.
Some 888 patients with the disease have died while in intensive care, and 2,005 ICU patients were released after recovering from the infection, according to estimates from nonprofit organization NICE.