Dutch weekly Covid infections top 530,000; Hospitalizations shoot up
The RIVM registered 530,015 positive coronavirus tests in the past seven days, according to the weekly statistical update from the Dutch public health institute. About three percent of the entire population tested positive last week. It was the fifth consecutive week where the number of new infections broke a record. The number of infections jumped by 45 percent compared to the 366,000 infections the previous seven-day period, and has more than doubled in two weeks' time.
The latest weekly number of infections was also five times the total registered between December 28 and January 4. During the past calendar week, 56.1 percent of the 1.02 million people tested by the GGD received a positive diagnosis. The positivity rate climbed up from 45.4 percent a week earlier. On average, a majority of samples tested the past two calendar weeks were diagnosed positive for the coronavirus infection.
With over 50 percent of people now testing positive, the information systems used by the GGD have been overwhelmed. There was a backlog of tens of thousands of infections which were either counted late, or have not yet been counted by the RIVM. This situation improved from a peak of 131,000 positive results not counted, down to 81,000 on Tuesday.
"More than 1,019,496 people were tested at the GGD, 7% more than the week before. That is the highest number of tests taken in a week since the start of the pandemic," the RIVM said. An estimated 2,817 people tested positive out of every 100,000 residents in the country. That was an increase from 2,034.
"The highest number of reports per 100,000 inhabitants was seen among 13 to 17 year olds. The largest increase in the number of reports in the past week was in the age groups 0 to 12 years, and 13 to 17 years," the RIVM stated. It was also the first time in four weeks that the age group 18-24 showed more per capita infections. There were also significant increases among people in their thirties, forties, and fifties.
"Compared to other age groups, the number of positive coronavirus tests has remained low in recent weeks among people aged 60 and older."
The basic reproduction (R) number ticked up very slightly to 1.20, which was the situation on January 17. At that time, 100 people infected with the coronavirus passed it on to 120 others, who then gave it to another 144. The R number shows that infections will likely continue to grow until it approaches 1.00.
Covid-19 hospitalizations jump by at least 11%, and as much as 30%
According to figures from intensive care monitor NICE, the number of hospital admissions is also increasing quickly. Preliminary data shows that at least 1,056 people with Covid-19 were admitted to the hospital during the past seven days, a figure which will likely rise as the data is finalized. That is 11 percent higher than the corrected total of 951 admitted a week ago, and more than 37 percent higher than the 770 patient admissions a week earlier.
Separate data from patient coordination service LCPS showed a 30 percent increase in the number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19, according to patient coordination service LCPS. The organization said that 1,198 patients with the disease were hospitalized since last Tuesday, up from 919 the week before. Out of that total, 1,105 were sent to regular care wards, and 93 were sent to intensive care units. The previous week, 852 were admitted in regular care, and 93 were placed in an ICU.
NICE's analysis also looked into the initial reason why patients were admitted into hospital care. The organization looked at 616 Covid-19 patient admissions and found that about a third of the admissions were for a reason other than the coronavirus disease, and about 17 percent were suffering from an underlying medical condition which was exacerbated by the illness.
The RIVM registered 66 deaths caused by Covid-19 last week, an increase from 61 the previous week. There is no obligation to report the deaths to the RIVM, with such notifications often coming late, if at all.