Covid hospitalizations rose by 20% last week; Infections among teens rising fast
Official statistics for the week ending Tuesday, December 15 showed that 1,480 people were admitted to hospitals for treatment of Covid-19. The total was over 20 percent higher than the previous week. Likewise, there was a 24 percent rise in the number of patients moved into intensive care, which reached 222, public health agency RIVM said, based on data from nonprofit organization NICE.
"Nursing homes and residential care centers also saw a significant increase of 61% in the number of facilities with infections," the RIVM said. Deaths attributed to Covid-19 also rose by 18 percent to 398.
For the second straight week there was an increase in the percentage of people who were given a positive diagnosis for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. Out of all 439,514 people who self-reported to municipal health service GGD for a test, 12 percent tested positive. At the start of the month, that figure sat at 11 percent. An additional thirty thousand people were tested last week by the GGD but their results were not yet available. Nevertheless, it indicated that the GGD carried out about 470 thousand tests last week, over 130 thousand more than the week prior.
All told, some 58,412 people tested positive for the infection over the past seven days, an increase of about 36 percent. That number was likely to be higher due to system overload issues at the GGD. The delayed tracking of the basic reproduction (R) number showed that for every 100 contagious people, another 124 became infected with the virus. At least 90 thousand people were estimated to be contagious with the virus at the end of November.
Those between the ages of 15 and 19 were most represented in the epidemiological study into last week's infections, as they accounted for 5,948 cases in total. Adolescents from age 10 to 14 also were diagnosed positive 4,305. Similarly, people in their late forties tested positive 4,622 times, and those in their early fifties were diagnosed with the infection 4,671 times.
Monday night, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge appeared on television to defend the new lockdown announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday night. He said that one reason primary and secondary schools needed to be closed was because their parents were taking too many liberties when it came to showing up at the office. "It is precisely working from home that hasn't been going so well lately," he said.
When analyzed per capita, those aged 13 to 17 saw the most dramatic rise in infections per 100 thousand residents, rising by over 44 percent to remain the age group with the most new infections, followed by those from 18-24. A 36 percent per capita increase was also recorded among people in their forties. No single age group showed a decline.
Since the end of February, 628,577 people have tested positive for the viral infection, a figure which could reach a million by the end of January depending on the effectiveness of the lockdown. The Netherlands crossed the half-million mark on November 26.
The country has lost 10,168 people to Covid-19, though hundreds if not thousands more likely died from the disease during the first half of the year but their infection status may have gone undiagnosed. About 28 thousand people were hospitalized in regular care for the illness, and six thousand were treated in intensive care for the coronavirus disease.