Slight drop in Covid infections but more children testing positive; Infection rate down to 12%
Despite a significant 24-percent fall in the number of new coronavirus infections reported on Tuesday, the total figures for Week 47 ending Tuesday morning were virtually flat compared to the previous week. Public health agency RIVM said that 36,931 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 infection during Week 47, down just two percent compared to the week before.
Children were the only segment of the population to show a week-to-week increase in per capita infections. Newborns up through children aged 12 tested positive at a rate of 53.58 per 100,000 residents, up 17 percent in a week. Children aged 13-17 showed an increase of over 28 percent to 370.07. The figures translated to 22 people aged 0-3 diagnosed with the infection, 541 aged 4-11, and 3,853 aged 12-17.
Amid the worsening situation among children, pediatric epidemiologist Patricia Bruijning argued for the government to take a new look at its approach to coronavirus restrictions in schools. "If we want the numbers to go down, I think we should also look at the schools," she said to Nieuwsuur. "We took measures in many places to lower the reproduction number, but did nothing in schools. At some point you see that schools are taking the lead."
A bright spot in the figures showed that 12 percent of those who self-reported for a coronavirus test were diagnosed with the infection, down from 13.8 percent the previous week. More people also called municipal health service GGD to schedule a test last week. That figure rose back up by 12 percent to 265,215, roughly equivalent to Week 45.
At the same time, as new infections even showed signs of rising during the last week, the basic reproduction (R) number also grew to an estimated 1.02. That means that every group of 100 people contagious with the viral infection will infect 102 others. The figure had steadily fallen over the past month.
Approximately 109 thousand people in the country were believed to be contagious with the infection, the RIVM said.
There were also drops in the number of hospitalizations for Covid-19 and the number of deaths caused by the disease. Some 1,291 people were admitted into regular care last week, down 14 percent from the previous week. During that time, 193 people were moved into intensive care, also a decrease of 14 percent.
The RIVM also received reports that the cause of 422 more deaths was attributed to the coronavirus disease. That reflected a week-to-week drop of 12 percent. The agency knows of 9,035 deaths definitively caused by the viral infection.
The total number of infections since the end of February inched closer to the half-million mark, a dubious milestone which will be crossed in the days to come. At least 493,744 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Netherlands since February, with the vast majority having been tested after June 1.
From February, an estimated 24,205 people were treated for the infection in a hospital's regular care department, and 5,346 were treated in intensive care.