RIVM confirms 51% surge in Dutch coronavirus numbers; Rutte: "Not good news"
Public health agency RIVM confirmed a 51 percent surge in the number of newly reported coronavirus cases in the Netherlands, with 5,427 new infections reported through the week ending Tuesday morning. That stood at 3,597 the week before. There was also a strong increase in infections among children from 13 to 18 years of age.
The percentage of people who tested positive for the virus jumped from 2.2 percent to 2.8 percent, the RIVM said. At the same time, more people were tested for the virus, which rose by 10 percent to 180,182 this past week.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte raised concerns about the increasing number of infections in the country. "That is obviously not good news," he said to RTL Nieuws on Monday. "It also shows how important it is to stick to 1.5 meters. And wash your hands." The Prime Minister is in talks this week to see what more can be done to prevent a second wave.
One key figure identified by the Cabinet as being crucial to ongoing social distancing policy and societal restrictions is the R-number, the basic reproduction of the coronavirus. The government has used the threshold of 1.00 as a point where new restrictions could be introduced. The Dutch R-number rose from 0.99 last week to 1.17 this week, meaning 100 contagious people will likely infect 117 others, according to the RIVM.
"Later this week there are also all kinds of meetings, in which we weill see what it means," Rutte said.
Infections among school-aged children
As the academic year for secondary schools got underway, there was also a large increase in infections among children aged 13 to 18, the institute said, citing figures from municipal health service GGD. Approximately 1,367 children in this group have tested positive for the viral infection since June 1, which rose by nearly 41 percent since the previous week's report. Positive tests of those between the ages of 7 and 12 rose from 260 in last week's report to 343, an increase of 32 percent.
"There is no significant increase in the number of patients related to the virus spreading in schools. In the few known clusters in schools, adults in particular have infected other adults," the RIVM said in a statement.
Roughly 53 percent of all new infections were of people between the ages of 15 and 34. The RIVM noted that 1,065 positive tests recorded were among people aged 20-24, about 53 percent higher than in the report released on September 1.
New infection total tops 76,500, as deaths and hospitalizations decrease
Some 76,548 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus since the end of February.
While new infections rose, new hospital admissions went down by 14 to 43. The RIVM said it has confirmed that 12,225 people have required hospital care since the pandemic began.
Additionally, seventeen deaths were linked to Covid-19 over the past week, down seven compared to the week prior. A total of 6,244 people are known to have died from the coronavirus disease since the end of February.
In that same six-month period, approximately 1.83 million tests for the novel coronavirus have been completed. About 75 percent of those tests were carried out by the GGD since June 1, when testing became available to the general public.
Travel-related coronavirus infections
There was a decrease in the number of recent travellers testing positive for the virus. It was the second straight week such a drop was recorded. For the week ending Tuesday, 671 people who visited another country tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 within two within two weeks of their travel, down 17 percent.
While most of that travel was to a European Union country, Turkey was the nation representing the highest number of infections. Over 15 percent of the coronavirus cases included people who entered the Netherlands from Turkey.
After Turkey with 104 cases, Greece was next highest with 82. A new warning against travel to the Greek islands was issued by the Dutch government this week. France (80), Spain (78), and Germany (77) rounded out the top five.
|Country infected person visited||
(Since July 1)