Over 1,800 new Covid-19 hospital patients last week; Positive test rate drops
Hospitals in the Netherlands took on 1,811 additional patients with Covid-19 during the week ending Tuesday morning, an increase of eight percent compared to the previous week. During the same period, hospitals moved 300 patients into intensive care units, a little over three percent more than the week prior.
The situation in the intensive care units in the Netherlands at the start of this week rivaled that of early May during the first wave of the pandemic. At the same time, regular care admissions were likely to set a new peak during the months-long second wave sometime this week or next. Over 31 thousand people have been hospitalized with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection since the end of February.
Public health agency RIVM also said that 583 more deaths were tied to the coronavirus disease over the course of the week. That was a stark 24 percent rise over previous figures.
To date, some 11,212 people were known to have died from the disease, according to official figures submitted to the RIVM. Mortality data provided by Statistics Netherlands suggested that the figure could be several thousand more, with over 13 thousand more deaths in 2020 than the organization had anticipated.
Positivity rate falls for first time after three straight rises
While there was a steep drop off in the number of people who scheduled a coronavirus test, there was also a decrease in the percentage of people who were diagnosed with the infection. Just over 409 thousand people self-reported to the municipal health service GGD for the test, about 15 percent fewer than the previous week.
Those who did get tested were handed a positive result about 13 percent of the time, down from 13.7 percent. That figure fell for the first time since November 24.
Some 67,388 people tested positive for the infection in total, about three-fourths of whom were tested by the GGD. That was down about 18 percent from the full total the week prior, though because of an IT error the true figure was likely to be a drop of under 12 percent.
Regardless, the RIVM previously said much of the decrease was due to a low number of people tested during Christmas and Boxing Day, with some tests also delayed or cancelled due to the winter storm.
Where did people test positive?
Investigators were able to trace last week's infections in about 20,200 cases. Around 55 percent of those were infected by someone else in the home, and 24 percent during a visit with members of another household. Some 15 percent tested positive at their workplace, five percent at a care home, and three percent at a school or daycare.
Nearly 700 people also tested positive within two weeks of entering the Netherlands from a foreign country. The three nations visited most frequently were Germany (183), Belgium (15) and the United Kingdom (42). The latter has been fighting a mutated strain of the coronavirus which is believed to be 70 percent more contagious than the prevailing variant in the Netherlands.
Since the end of February, some 777,902 thousand people have tested positive for the coronavirus infection in the Netherlands. About 94 percent of those cases were found after June 1, when testing was made widely available to the public.