Over 10% tested positive for Coronavirus last week; Healthcare pressure unrelenting
Over ten percent of the people who scheduled a coronavirus test with municipal health service GGD last week tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Some 10.1 percent of those tested during the seven-day period ending Tuesday morning were diagnosed with the infection, a figure which has been rising for over a month.
It was the highest percentage reported by public health agency RIVM since mid-February. The agency said that 53,981 people last week tested positive for the infection, a 5.3 percent increase over the past week. "With the exception of a dip due to the Easter weekend, the number of reports of people with a positive coronavirus test has increased almost every week since January," the RIVM stated.
"The pressure caused by the coronavirus epidemic on hospitals, on the GGD offices and on other care providers such as family doctors remains as high as ever," the RIVM continued. It said the average age of those hospitalized for the coronavirus disease has gone down now that more elderly people have been vaccinated. General practitioners are also able to treat more patients at home with oxygen and anti-inflammatories, which has provided limited relief at hospitals.
Complete Covid-19 hospitalization figures over the past seven days were believed to be incomplete due to an IT issue. These figures will be provided later, the RIVM stated.
Despite the relatively high number of coronavirus infections, and the one-year high in Covid-19 patients in intensive care, the Dutch Cabinet was expected to relax some coronavirus restrictions effective April 28. That decision was set to be announced at a press conference on Tuesday night.
An estimated 162 thousand people were believed to be contagious with the virus on April 12, roughly the same as seven days earlier, the RIVM said. Additionally, the basic reproduction (R) number also rose to 1.06. That means that 100 people contagious with the virus will spread the infection to 106 others. The R-number last week was estimated to be at 0.97, suggesting containment measures last week have not succeeded.
Infections per capita rose to 310 per 100 thousand residents. The region at greatest risk was the Zuid-Holland-Zuid GGD district, with 499 infections per capita. There are 19 other regions with more than 250 residents per capita who tested positive last week, an alarmingly high figure.
Broken down by age, the virus had its biggest advance among teens aged 13 to 17 and adults from 18 to 24. All other age groups saw an increase except residents 80 and up, which had its third straight decrease, a likely effect of the Covid-19 vaccination program.
To date, people in the Netherlands have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 infection 1,417,772 times. The RIVM has learned of 16,965 deaths caused by Covid-19, but there is no obligation to report cause of death to the agency, which are all filed with Statistics Netherlands. The data bureau said that at least ten thousand more Covid-19 deaths have taken place in the country.