Coronavirus infections up 24% for the week; Testing up 28%
Some 39,527 people in the Netherlands tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection for the week ending at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, a figure which rose by 24 percent from last week. That increase was the sharpest reported by public health agency RIVM since December.
At the same time, testing for the infection also went up by an impressive 28 percent, or nearly a hundred thousand, with 460,844 tests completed by municipal health service GGD by Tuesday morning. That was the most tests finished in the seven-day period since the week ending December 22.
The result of that is a continued decline in the percentage of people who tested positive for the virus, which dipped to 7.7 percent. That was the lowest figure reported by the RIVM in nearly six months.
Despite this, the situation in the country was still very disconcerting, the RIVM said. The agency pointed to the basic reproduction (R) number's increase to 1.06, which means 100 contagious people will infect 106 others. That figure was still 0.98 a week ago, but now the RIVM believes that about 75 percent of all infections were caused by the B117 variant of the virus, which first emerged in the United Kingdom. It is more contagious than other variants, and "is now the most common SARS-CoV-2 variant in the Netherlands," the RIVM said.
It also noted that, "Children aged 0 to 12 years were tested most often in the past week, followed by people aged 30 to 39 years." The younger of the two groups also recorded the biggest increase in new infections, a 35 percent rise. Whereas most age groups showed a decrease in per capita infections last week, all age groups showed an increase this week. People aged 18-24 responsible for the most infections per capita.
Hospitalizations for Covid-19 "remain at a high level," the RIVM said. Hospitals took on 1,234 patients with the coronavirus disease over the past week, almost two percent higher. Of that total, 268 were admissions into an intensive care unit, a figure which fell by roughly four percent.
The RIVM also said that it learned of 204 deaths attributed to Covid-19 over the past week, down from 269 the previous week.
Since the end of February 2020, people in the country have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 infection 1,167,563 times. That includes 16,119 people whose cause of death was due to Covid-19.
Thus far, hospitals have treated 43,713 patients in regular care for the coronavirus disease, with an 85 percent survival rate. They treated 9,350 patients in intensive care for the sickness, with 72 percent having survived, data from nonprofit organization NICE showed.