RIVM: Third straight weekly drop in coronavirus infections; Covid deaths down 15%
For the third straight week, the total number of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections in the Netherlands decreased, with figures for week 46 of the year reaching 37,706. That total, calculated through 10 a.m. on Tuesday, was 14 percent lower than the previous week, and about 42 percent lower than the week before that.
The agency also pointed to positive demographic developments, with a decrease seen across all age groups and in all 25 of the country's security and health regions. The largest per capita decreases were seen in Rotterdam-Rijnmond and Kennemerland, which includes the Schiphol area and Haarlem.
"Yet the number of people with a positive test result is still very high: 20 of the 25 regions are still in a severe phase of the COVID-19 epidemic, with more than 150 infections per 100,000 inhabitants," the RIVM said in a statement. Not a single one of the regions was at the most manageable level of fewer than 50 infections per capita.
The RIVM noted that when compared to the first wave of coronavirus infections during the spring, the second wave of infections was falling far more slowly. It said that an estimated 118 thousand people were contagious with the viral infection on November 5, down 25 percent from figures reported on October 15.
"On March 24 there were 169 thousand infectious persons in the Netherlands. That number dropped 43% in three weeks to 96 thousand infectious individuals on April 14," the RIVM said in a statement.
Municipal health service GGD also saw the rate of people testing positive for the virus fall from 14.50 percent to 13.80 percent, similar to data seen in early October. About eight percent fewer people self-reported to the GGD to request a coronavirus test, equivalent to 226,094 in total. Nearly everyone tested received results within 38 hours of scheduling their appointment.
The basic reproduction (R) number of the virus remained about the same, sitting at 0.89 in the RIVM's report. This means that for every group of 100 contagious people, 89 more will become infected with the coronavirus.
Deaths fall by 15 percent, hospitalizations down by about 2 percent
Deaths tied to the coronavirus disease also dropped off by 15 percent, according to the RIVM. The agency received 479 death reports where Covid-19 was listed as the cause, compared to 565 the week prior, equal to a 15 percent drop.
There was only a slight drop in the total number of new Covid-19 patients admitted into Dutch hospitals, which fell by two percent to 1,496. At the same time, there was a sharp decrease in the amount of Covid patients moved into intensive care, which fell by 19 percent to 224.
Last week, some 494 people tested positive for the infection within 14 days of arriving in the Netherlands from abroad. That was down over 25 percent compared to the previous week, according to the RIVM. In the new report, 91 people had visited Germany, 80 had traveled to Belgium, and 59 arrived after a stay in Turkey.
Since the end of February, 457,003 people have tested positive for the coronavirus infection, including 8,616 who died from Covid-19. Hospitals have treated 23,062 people for the disease in regular care, with 5,139 patients admitted to intensive care, according to nonprofit organization NICE.