Dutch coronavirus average back over 2,000, and spreading faster
For the first time in nearly three weeks, the seven-day moving average indicating the number of daily coronavirus infections in the Netherlands rose past two thousand. Additionally, the basic reproduction (R) number indicated that the viral infection was outpacing efforts to combat its spread, even before the governing Cabinet released most physical distancing requirements.
The RIVM said on Friday that another 2,790 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the highest daily total shown in raw data in a month. It was the second consecutive day where more than 2,700 people received a positive diagnosis for the viral infection.
That brought the seven-day average up eight percent to 2,052. The average quickly shot up by 23 percent just in the past week after reaching a fourth-wave low of 1,661.
A substantial modification to the Dutch coronavirus policy took force exactly two weeks ago with the elimination of most restrictions intended to force bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, and other venues to keep patrons 1.5 meters apart from each other. Instead, the government expanded the use of its coronavirus pass system where guests have to show a QR code indicating they have either been vaccinated against Covid-19, recovered from the coronavirus infection, or tested negative for it.
But an update to the model which calculates the R-number showed that it rose to 1.02 on September 23. The number is a critical indicator used by the government to evaluate the successes and failures of its coronavirus policy. It means that 100 people contagious with the virus were likely to infect 102 others, demonstrating that the infection was advancing more quickly even before the Cabinet adapted its policy.
The last seven days also reflected a 22 percent increase in Covid-19 hospital admissions in the Netherlands. On average, 50 people were admitted with the disease each of the past seven days, including nine sent directly to an intensive care unit. A week earlier, 41 people were admitted on average, including seven sent to ICUs.
The current total of admitted Covid-19 patients stabilized on Friday at 469. However, that was still seven percent higher compared to a week ago. A similar increase would raise the Covid-19 patient total up over 500. On Friday afternoon, ICUs were treating 130 patients, two more than the previous day. The regular care wards were treating 339 others, a net decrease of two.
Hospitals admitted 46 patients with Covid-19 between Thursday and Friday afternoon. Forty of them went to regular care wards, and the remainder were brought to intensive care.