Nearly 65,000 test positive again, as data backlog falls; GGDs reach full test capacity
About 65,000 positive results from coronavirus tests were registered for the second day in a row. Between Sunday and Monday morning, the RIVM was notified of 64,757 infections confirmed by providers, primarily the GGD. That is slightly lower than the record high of 65,351 positive tests reported on Sunday.
The RIVM is still struggling with a large backlog because the computer systems involved in processing positive tests cannot cope with the volume of information. The backlog has narrowed somewhat. Some 46,000 positive tests have not yet been registered in the past seven days, an improvement of about 2,000 since Sunday.
Including the backlog, about 390,000 new coronavirus infections were likely diagnosed in the past week, putting the unofficial seven-day moving average at 55,700. The number of confirmed infections reported by the RIVM since last Monday is 343,331. That equates to an average of 49,047 new cases per day, the highest level ever. The confirmed weekly total is almost 43 percent higher than the sum for the seven days prior.
Amsterdam leads the list with 4,138 positive tests. In Rotterdam, 3,002 residents were told that they were infected with the virus, followed by Utrecht (2,293), The Hague (1,824) and Almere (1,322).
Patients in care, hospital admissions rising
The number of Covid-19 patients in Dutch hospitals increased by 4 percent on Monday. To 1,141. That is 48 more than on Sunday, according to the most recent figures from the LCPS. In intensive care units, the number of Covid-19 patients continued its decline. There are currently 262 such patients, 13 fewer than on Sunday. There are 879 patients with the disease in the regular care wards, an increase of 61. That was the strongest increase in over a month.
The hospitals admitted 137 new Covid-19 patients in the past 24 hours, with 10 sent directly to intensive care. It was the fifth time in seven days that hospital admissions were above average, with about 124 patients admitted each of the past seven days.
The LCPS expects that the number of coronavirus patients will increase in the coming period, because of the rapid advance of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Although this variant may not lead to severe symptoms seen in other variants, more patients can still wind up in hospitals because of the high infection numbers. In addition, more people may also end up in hospital who are admitted for a reason other than Covid, but who later test positive for the coronavirus. These people also count as Covid-19 patients in the daily hospital figures.
GGD testing at absolute capacity
The testing capacity was stretched to the limit on Monday, GGD GHOR Nederland announced. The GGD test sites and laboratories are able to process a maximum of 150,000 test samples per day. The organization said it could not possibly squeeze more appointments in without others cancelling their time slots. As a result, people may have to wait longer for their test when they try to schedule an appointment.
The GGDs have carried out a record number of more than 950,000 coronavirus tests in the past week, GGD GHOR Netherlands reported. On Monday morning, the GGD telephone number was called 390,000 times for test appointments. "Last week at the same time, the tally stood at 80,000," according to the organization. More people will be deployed at the call centers and the number of employees will be expanded from 5,300 to 7,000 in the coming week.
At the end of this week, commercial test providers will be allowed to pitch in so that capacity can be increased. These test facilities are affiliated with the Open Netherlands Foundation (SON). The foundation cannot say how many tests the providers can perform on behalf of the GGDs, and thus it is unclear to what extent the test capacity can be increased. SON is now determining which locations want to participate in the program, and which locations are suitable.
It is a different situation from the access testing the locations normally provide, a SON spokesperson said. The locations must be larger because more people with symptoms are being tested, increasing the level of risk involved. “The entrance and exit there must be separated from each other. In addition, the test providers must be connected to the appointment portal of the GGD, and privacy must be properly arranged."