Coronavirus infections at two-week high as Covid hospitalizations fall further
Another 4,472 people in the Netherlands tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection, the most reported by the RIVM in a single day since January 28. The total was 39 percent higher than on Wednesday, and five percent higher than a week ago, pushing the seven-day average up to 3,458.
The moving average has fallen steadily since December 22, when it peaked during the second wave of infections at 11,788. Since that time, it has fallen by 71 percent, though a wide range of health officials have expressed concern over the B117 coronavirus variant. The variant first emerged in the United Kingdom and has been the dominant strain in the Netherlands since January 1, according to a model from health institute RIVM. Last week, it was estimated that 100 people contagious with the B177 variant spread the infection to 113 others.
Amsterdam led all other municipalities with 248 residents testing positive for coronavirus revealed on Thursday, the most in 25 days. Rotterdam (158) and The Hague (121) were the only other cities with over a hundred new coronavirus cases. All three were substantially above each city's moving average.
Vaccination distribution rose above average for the second straight day, with the RIVM estimating that 34,138 people received an injection on Wednesday. That pushed the number of Covid-19 vaccines given to 660,284 since January 6, with about ten percent of those believed to be the second dose of a two-shot regiment. With that estimate, the Netherlands has given at least one vaccine dose to roughly 3.4 percent of the population.
Meanwhile, the number of patients being treated for Covid-19 in the Dutch hospital system fell by two percent to 1,952, the lowest total since December 14. Patient coordination office LCPS said that 537 of those people were in intensive care, an increase of four from Wednesday, while the other 1,415 were in regular care, a net decrease of 42 after accounting for deaths, admissions and discharges.
The combined hospital total has fallen by eight percent in a week, which would mean hospitals would have fewer than 1,800 patients in care by next Thursday if the decrease continues. However, the LCPS said the continued spread of the B117 variant could lead to an increase in hospitalizations over the next few weeks.
The RIVM also said that 74 more deaths caused by Covid-19 were reported to the agency, raising the total number of Dutch coronavirus deaths up to 14,662. The average over each of the past seven days rose to 62.
To date, 1,017,302 people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 infection.