Weekly Covid infections up 40% to 154,000; Schoolchildren, parents infected more often
The coronavirus is continuing to spread through the Netherlands at a fast rate. In the past week, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) registered 153,957 positive coronavirus tests. That is a sharp escalation above the record set the week before, when more than 110,000 infections were determined.
Just a week earlier, there were nearly 77,000 new cases, meaning the total has doubled in two weeks. "The increase is continuing on all fronts," concludes the RIVM.
The number of positive tests is more than 39 percent higher than last week. It is the seventh consecutive week that the number of new cases has increased by roughly 40 percent. Since the beginning of October, the number of positive tests has increased ten-fold.
The coronavirus has spread rapidly among two groups: young children and their parents. The age group of 5- to 14-year-olds represented the highest number of positive tests last week, as did those between the ages of 35 and 44. These are school-age children and their parents, confirms the RIVM.
During the past seven days, more than 32,000 children between 5 and 14 tested positive. That is 58 percent more than in the previous week. In the age group of 35- to 44-year-olds, the number of infections rose by more than 40 percent. The group of teens and younger adults between the two showed a much smaller increase.
Due to the high number of positive coronavirus tests, the branches of the GGD municipal health service were unable to keep up with source and contact tracing investigations. The source of infection was determined in fewer than a quarter of infections. Thus, schools and daycares emerged as a significant source of infection. Nearly 20 percent of the known infections were identified in such a place, compared to about 15 percent last week and 10 percent the week before.
The basic reproduction (R) number fell slightly, from 1.26 on Friday back to 1.21, the level it had been for several weeks. It is a minimal difference, which means that the virus is continuing to spread at about the same rate. Thus, the number of positive tests will continue to increase at the same rate. The current figure reflects the status of the pandemic roughly two weeks earlier. The R number of 1.21 means 100 people contagious with the virus will infect 121 others, who will then spread the virus to 146 more people.
Last week, the symptoms observed in 1,833 people were harsh enough that they required hospital care, the RIVM said based on data from NICE. That is the highest number since the end of April, and the figure will likely be revised upwards as more data is collected. Last week, the RIVM reported 1,390 admissions, and 1,137 the the week before that. The health condition of 289 of the 1,833 admitted patients was so serious that they were placed in an intensive care unit. That is the highest number reported since early May.
By comparison, data from patient coordination office LCPS showed that 2,232 patients with Covid-19 were admitted into care during the past seven days. That reflected a 30 percent increase in a week. The increase was essentially the same in regular care and intensive care departments. The figure includes 289 sent to an ICU, up from 224 the previous week.
The RIVM registered 265 new deaths caused by Covid-19, which is also a significant increase of over 53 percent. Last week, the RIVM reported the death of 173 Covid-19 victims, and 172 in the previous week. The new deaths mainly concern people over the age of 80 who died as a result of the disease.
A total of 2,488,244 positive coronavirus tests have been recorded in the Netherlands to date. That has resulted in nearly 68,400 hospitalizations for Covid-19, with an 87 percent survival rate. Of the nearly 15,100 people treated in intensive care, roughly 73 percent have survived. The RIVM has recorded 19,048 deaths caused by Covid-19, though there is no obligation to report the deaths to the health agency. Figures from the RIVM and the CBS, the country's national statistics agency, put the death toll closer to 32,000.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.