Dutch coronavirus infections up 35 percent since last week
After four weeks of decreasing coronavirus infections, the numbers are now rising rapidly in the Netherlands, despite the current lockdown. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) registered 113,554 positive coronavirus tests in the past seven days, an increase of 35 percent compared to a week earlier. There was also a 14 percent fall in hospitalizations caused by Covid-19.
During the pandemic, it has been shown time and again that an increase in infection rates typically lead to more hospitalizations in the weeks that follow. The question now is to what extent this will happen again. "In the coming period, with a rapidly increasing number of infections from the Omicron variant, the number of hospital admissions may increase again. That can be the case even if the Omicron variant causes serious illness in a smaller proportion of infected people," the RIVM said.
Many people who tested positive for the coronavirus last week contracted the infection because they had household guests, or because they visited others themselves. This was the source of infection for three in ten people. This coincided with the Christmas and New Year's holidays, but the RIVM did not specifically identify holiday visits as a cause of the increase in infections.
About 59 percent of all infections were caused by other members of the same household, about 3 percent were linked to a trip abroad, and 1 percent occurred at a school or child care facility.
Older children, younger adults represent most infections
The RIVM's regular weekly report includes infection data over a seven-day period ending on Tuesday mornings. The update released on January 4 showed a sharp increase among older teens and younger adults. The vast majority of infections were found among people aged 15 to 34 years old.
In the past week, the coronavirus was diagnosed in 9,402 people aged 15 to 19. Compared to a week earlier, the number of positive tests among these young people increased by just over 90 percent. That brought the total up to the highest number for that age group since mid-July, the peak of the fourth wave.
Among 20- to 24-year-olds, the number of new infections rose by 79 percent to 13,764. That is also the highest number for that group since mid-July. The increase was 63 percent among 25- to 29-year-olds and 43 percent among 30- to 34-year-olds.
The number of positive tests is also increasing in middle-aged people. For example, the number of infections among people in their fifties rose by almost 60 percent.
The number of coronavirus cases among children fell rapidly, with schools still on vacation. In the past week, just over 6,000 children under 10 tested positive, 33 percent less than a week earlier.
Covid hospitalizations fall by 14 percent; Known deaths down 30 percent
The RIVM shared data from intensive care monitor NICE that showed the number of Covid-19 hospital admissions fell by 14 percent to 981. Out of this group of people, 164 had to go directly to intensive care. Those are the lowest admissions figures since the end of October.
Data from patient coordinator LCPS showed that a total of 1,107 people were admitted to hospitals the past seven days, also reflecting a 14 percent weekly decrease. Their data included 955 regular care admissions and an additional 152 intensive care admissions, down from 1,101 and 182, respectively.
While infection rates are now rising, the number of deaths reported to the RIVM is still relatively low. The RIVM learned of 189 deaths from Covid-19 in the past week, down from 272 the week before, and 322 the week before that.