Decrease in weekly coronavirus infections continues; Hospital cases fall below 10-week low
The coronavirus is managing to infect fewer and fewer people in the Netherlands. In the past seven days, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) registered 11,760 positive tests for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. That is almost 12 percent less than the week before. The Netherlands returned close to the level from late June and early July, at the start of the fourth wave of infections.
The number of hospital admissions fell to its lowest level since mid-July. Preliminary data from intensive care monitor NICE showed that 213 people had coronavirus-related complaints that were bad enough that they had to be hospitalized last week. Corrected data from the week before showed that there were 306 admissions, a figure which was revised up from 287. Of the 213 admitted coronavirus patients, 56 ended up in intensive care, compared to 68 the week before and 80 a week earlier.
Data from patient coordinator LCPS showed that 287 people were hospitalized over the past seven days, including 62 sent to an intensive care unit. Their count of 287 was also the lowest since July 18.
The number of deaths recorded by the RIVM also fell from 45 to 34, but last week's higher figure was an outlier. This was partly caused by reports about people who had already died from their coronavirus infection in August. That is not the case with this week's data, as most of the newly reported deaths took place in the past two weeks. Among the deaths are people in their twenties and fifties, but just like in previous weeks, it is mainly people over 80 who died.
In total, just under 2 million people have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The count stands at 1,999,592 registered cases on Tuesday. The organizations that carry out the coronavirus tests are legally obliged to report every positive test to authorities.
Two in three people who tested positive in September were not vaccinated against Covid-19.
The basic reproduction (R) number dropped slightly. The figure, which indicates how quickly the virus is spreading, stood at 0.91 on Friday and is now 0.90. That means that a hundred people contagious with the coronavirus infect an average of 90 others. They in turn infect 81 people, who then transmit the virus to about 73 people, where new carriers of the virus becomes slightly smaller with each step. The lower the R number, the faster the number of new infections will go down until the epidemic dies out.
Schools and nurseries are still more common place for people to contract the virus, but the proportion is declining compared to other sources. Compared to last week, the group of people who were infected by people who came to visit them at home, or because they visited others themselves, is growing.
Young children aged 5 to 14 still form the largest group among those who tested positive. But in that age group, the number of cases is falling rapidly. The number of positive tests is increasing slightly among the elderly, but the numbers are still very low.
Reporting by ANP.