RIVM: Infections backlog continues to climb
For three weeks, Dutch public health institute RIVM and the GGD health services have struggled to cope with managing the data generated by the high number of coronavirus infections in the country. On Monday, the RIVM said that 191,000 positive tests diagnosed by the GGD since January 17 have not been included in its reporting of the situation in the country. The health institute has repeatedly said the organizations are "working hard on solutions" to catch up on the backlog, but the backlog increased by 60,000 just since last Monday.
A total of 77,648 new infections were recorded by the RIVM between Sunday and Monday morning. That pulled the seven-day moving average down six percent to 75,248. However, if the 60,000 missing records had been included in the latest report it would have pushed the average to a new record high of over 83,800. The average was just under 68,400 a week ago.
The positivity rate continued to be near record-high levels. About 61.2 percent of those tested by the GGD between January 30 and February 5 received a positive diagnosis for the coronavirus infection. About 988,000 people were tested during that time, down slightly from the record of 1.025 million set at the end of January.
The three cities with the most new infections in Monday's data were Amsterdam (2,835), Breda (2,347), and The Hague (1,844). With so many records not included in the RIVM's reporting, it was not clear if any municipal figures were accurately represented. In Eindhoven, which has had an average of about a thousand infections per day this past week, had a total of 262 in the latest data.
Meanwhile, hospitals found themselves treating 149 more Covid-19 patients than on Sunday afternoon, marking the biggest increase measured in over 13 months. There were 1,493 people with the disease in Dutch hospitals, the most since January 11. However, just 214 of them were in intensive care units, close to the lowest total reported by the LCPS since the end of October.
Hospitals admitted 168 new Covid-19 patients in the past 24 hours, including 14 sent directly to an ICU. On average, hospitals have taken on 195 new patients with the disease each of the past seven days. That average climbed by 24 percent in a week, and was at its highest point in 45 days.
Health Minister Ernst Kuipers noted that the hospitals' ability to cope with current Covid-19 levels, and staff absenteeism, would weigh heavily on the Cabinet's evaluation of the existing set of coronavirus restrictions. The Cabinet is expected to announce any changes to the policy on February 15.