Coronavirus infections drop 16.5% this week; Hospitalizations down 22%
The number of new coronavirus cases fell sharply last week, as did the number of Covid-19 hospital admissions. The basic reproduction (R) number also fell sharply, which indicates that it has become more difficult for the virus to infect new people. The number of reported deaths from Covid-19 did rise.
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) received 13,347 reports of positive coronavirus tests in the past seven days. That is the lowest weekly figure since the beginning of July, just before the fourth wave emerged, a result of the Delta variant of the virus. The number of new cases decreased by 16.5 percent when compared to the previous week.
Schools and daycare centers remain an important place where people contract the virus. Young children, aged 5 to 14, still form the largest group among those who tested positive. The number of new cases is falling among them, as it is among the other age groups. Children under the age of 12 are unable to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Netherlands.
Patient coordinator LCPS showed that 375 people required hospital care for Covid-19 during the past seven days, including 73 who went directly to intensive care. That was 22 percent lower compared to the previous week, when 481 were admitted including 92 ICU patients.
Figures from the RIVM, showed that the number of hospital admissions fell to its lowest level since mid-July. That is based on data from intensive care monitor NICE, which showed that 287 hospitalizations were confirmed since last Tuesday, though the data is typically revised upwards. Corrected data showed that the week before there were 374 admissions and 421 a week earlier. Of the 287 Covid-19 patients admitted, 66 ended up in intensive care, compared to 80 and 94 respectively in the weeks before.
The RIVM also registered 45 deaths from Covid-19, compared to 35 in the week before and 38 a week earlier. This mainly concerns people 80 years of age and older. That does not necessarily mean that all 45 people died in the previous week. More than ten had already died in August, but their deaths have only just been registered this week.
The R number dropped from 0.97 to 0.91. That is the lowest level since the end of July. A reproduction number of 0.91 means that a hundred people contagious with the coronavirus infect an average of 91 others. They in turn infect about 83 people, who then transmit the virus to about 75 people. With each step, the group of new carriers becomes slightly smaller. The further the number falls, the faster the number of infections falls, until the epidemic peters out.
The GGD conducted slightly fewer coronavirus tests last week. The number dropped from almost 170,000 to over 160,000. However, the number of positive tests fell faster. Last week, 8 percent of all tests at the GGD locations were positive. That is the lowest percentage since late June and early July. If tests performed for access to locations and travel tests are also included, 4.3 percent of all tests were positive, compared to 5.1 percent in the previous week.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.