10,345: Netherlands reports most new coronavirus cases since Christmas
Public health agency RIVM reported the most new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands in a single day since last Christmas. Some 10,345 more people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which raised the seven day average by 41 percent to 4,504. These figures were reported by the RIVM at a time when the Covid-19 vaccination campaign has also shown signs of slowing down.
The coronavirus infections daily average was now 7.5 times higher than eleven days ago, when the figure hit a low point following the third wave of infections. That low mark was set on June 30, four days after the Cabinet released most coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands, but then the months long trend of declining figures quickly reversed course.
The rise in infections also aligns with RIVM germ surveillance that suggested the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus became the primary variant in the Netherlands by the first week of July. As a result of the surging infections, the government tightened up a handful of coronavirus restrictions, most significantly the shutdown of nightclubs. The rest of the measures primarily affect the hospitality and events sectors.
The Cabinet did not reintroduce an obligation to wear face masks in indoor public spaces, saying the Outbreak Management Team did not deem it necessary. The Red Team, a group of medical experts and scientists which routinely re-examines OMT advice, said that face mask rules should never have been abandoned when coronavirus measures were initially released on June 26.
The positivity rate of coronavirus tests carried out by the GGD has shot up over the past week. That figure was at 4.5 percent for the seven-day period ending on Tuesday morning. It has since risen to 10.6 percent on average. Nearly 15 percent of tests processed on Friday were positive. Coronavirus testing has also been on the rise, but at a much slower rate. About 40 thousand tests have been carried out on average this week, compared to about 25 thousand a week ago.
The cities with the highest coronavirus infection numbers were Amsterdam (897), Utrecht (796) and Rotterdam (701). The data from all three cities was more than double their respective seven-day averages. Worryingly high coronavirus infection figures were also reported in Groningen (430), The Hague (388) and Breda (332).
Vaccination progress over 20 percent slower than the second week of June
Approximately 175,316 people were vaccinated against Covid-19 on Friday, according to an estimate from the Health Ministry. About 176,119 people were vaccinated each of the past seven days on average, about 53 thousand fewer than a month ago. That is equivalent to a 23 percent reduction.
About 900 thousand injections have been administered this calendar week, with roughly 1.37 million shots targeted by the end of Sunday. That target was likely to be missed by about 9 percent based on the preliminary data.
Despite the apparent slowdown, possibly due to the beginning of the summer holiday period, the Netherlands remained third out of the 30 European Union and European Economic Area countries for percentage of adults at least partially protected against Covid-19. Some 79.5 percent of adult residents have been given at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, with 47.7 percent considered to be fully protected.
That put the Netherlands in 11th place, according to the ECDC. Both figures were above the EU & EEA averages.
To date, 17,625,182 Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in the Netherlands since the start of the vaccination campaign in January.
Covid-19 hospital figures low this week
Updated hospital data was not released by patient coordination office LCPS on Saturday. Last month, the organization suspended weekend reporting, and will resume daily operations if Covid-19 hospitalizations begin to rise again.
There were 206 Covid-19 patients in hospital on Friday, down 17 percent compared to the previous week week. Intensive care units were responsible for 86 of the admitted patients, with the other 120 in regular care wards.