RIVM: 9.6% test positive for coronavirus last week; Most since February
The percentage of people testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection rose for the fourth straight week, with an increase from 8.9 percent to 9.6 percent last week. That was the highest rate in which people tested positive for the virus since the last week of February. At the same time, there was a slight decrease in the number of hospitalizations for Covid-19, though intensive care admissions rose.
The weekly official overview from public health agency RIVM is calculated through 10 a.m. on Tuesday. It showed that there was a six percent increase in the number of people who tested positive, which rose by over three thousand to 51,240. There was a two-percent fall in the number of people who scheduled a coronavirus test with municipal health service GGD, with about 490 thousand showing up for a test during the seven-day period.
Regionally, there were four areas the RIVM identified as performing significantly worse than the rest of the Netherlands, which averaged 294 infections per 100,000 residents last week. The regions of Brabant-Noord, Limburg-Noord, Rotterdam-Rijnmond and Zuid-Holland-Zuid all averaged more than 350 new infections per capita.
There were more infections per capita in all age groups from 13 through 69, the data showed. "A relative decrease was seen in the age groups 80+ (-15%) and children under 12 (-7%). A relative increase was seen in the age groups 13 to 17 years (+ 15%) and 18 to 24 year olds (+ 5%), despite the fact that no more tests were conducted," the RIVM said.
The latest model from the RIVM also showed that there were 163 thousand people contagious with the virus on March 29. On that day, the basic reproduction (R) number for the spread of the virus was 0.97. That means that 100 contagious people were likely to infect 97 others. A R-number below 1.00 was once seen as a positive sign to eventually relax lockdown restrictions.
However, on Tuesday, the RIVM said of the R-number, "That is not enough to slow down the virus."
Hospitalizations down, but Covid-19 ICU admissions & deaths rise
The RIVM said that there were exactly 1,700 hospitalizations for Covid-19 over the past seven days, down just over one percent from the previous week. Broken down by ward, 1,343 patients were admitted into regular care, a decrease of 29 admissions. Intensive care units accepted 386 Covid-19 patients during that time, an increase of five.
The RIVM also said that it received notification that 174 people died from the coronavirus disease last week. That was a 23 percent increase over last week's total, which had been the lowest reported in months.
To date, people have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on 1,364,025 occasions. At least 16,822 people died from Covid-19, according to RIVM figures, though estimates from the country's statistics office suggested the figure could be closer to 25 thousand. There is currently no obligation to report a cause of death to the GGD or the RIVM, but those reports are received by the statistics bureau.
Hospitals have treated 10,759 coronavirus patients in intensive care with a 73 percent survival rate. The regular care departments have treated 49,219 people with the coronavirus disease, with an 86 percent survival rate.