Fewer than 10% of coronavirus tests were positive last week, but infections up 19%
Of over 263 thousand people tested for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection over the past seven days, an estimated 9.8 percent were diagnosed positive, public health agency RIVM said on Tuesday. That reflected a sharp drop from the 11.5 percent reported the previous week, a period in which testing services were seriously affected by a winter storm.
While the number of people who tested positive for the viral infection, 29,977, rose by 19 percent, the amount of tests conducted by municipal health service GGD also jumped up by 38 percent. The RIVM also pointed out that there has also been an increase in symptomatic people who have raised concerns with their physician.
”Due to the measures of December 16, 2020 and the curfew that has been in force since January 23, people have less contact with others, which has prevented many infections. The curfew and the at-maximum one [household] visitor measure, which took effect on January 23, reduced the reproduction rate by an estimated 10%,” the RIVM said in a statement. Without compliance from the public, the pressure on the healthcare system would have been enormous, the RIVM continued.
Intensive care units last week took on 240 more patients with Covid-19, an increase of 28 percent. At the same time, 1,140 new patients with the disease were admitted into regular care wards, a five percent decrease. The RIVM said it also learned of 418 deaths caused by Covid-19 over the past seven days, marginally higher than the 423 reported a week earlier.
”Because the majority of the population has not yet been vaccinated, it is very important to prevent infections as much as possible and to keep this third wave as low as possible. This is only possible if a relaxation is done with great caution and step-by-step.”
The Dutch government, which allowed primary school students to return to classrooms earlier this month, were expected to open up the door to more secondary school students in a week. Prime Minister Mark Rutte was also expected to announce that many close contact professionals may again conduct business, but not sex workers, during a scheduled press conference on Tuesday night. He was also expected to extend the evening curfew through into mid or late March.
Through February 5, the RIVM said its model showed that 100 people contagious with the virus infected 99 others, an increase of over three percent. While there was a slight decrease in the R-Number of the more contagious B117 mutation of the virus, there was a renewed increase in the spread of the viral variant which was more common in the Netherlands last year.
An increase in infections was seen at the per capita level across all age groups. There was a high increase in coronavirus testing of the 0-12 age group, with classmates of those who test positive strongly encouraged to get tested themselves after quarantining for five days.