Covid positivity rate drops below 60% as infections, hospital cases fall
For the first time in two months, fewer than 60 percent of those tested for the coronavirus infection during the last calendar week received a positive diagnosis. In its weekly report on the coronavirus pandemic, the RIVM said that 58.4 percent of those tested by the GGD were infected with the virus. That was the lowest rate since the third week of February.
Last week, just 41,359 people were tested for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus by the GGD, or less than 6,000 per day. The last time the figure was so low was before June 2020, when testing was first made widely available in the Netherlands. Recently, the Dutch government encouraged the expanded use of self-testing, and dropped its advice that people get tested at the GGD to confirm a positive self-test result.
Since then, officially diagnosed infections have fallen sharply. Just 24,707 people tested positive during the seven-day period through Tuesday morning. That was the lowest weekly total in six months. The number of infections was 63 percent lower compared to the previous week, when just under 66,800 tested positive. Additionally, only 41,359 were tested last week, compared to nearly 111,000 the week prior.
The RIVM did point out that the basic reproduction (R) value increased slightly to 0.71. One hundred people contagious with the coronavirus infection on March 31 passed the virus on to 71 others, who then infected another 50 people. When the R-value is below 1.00, the number of daily infections should continue to fall. On March 28 the figure was at 0.69.
Meanwhile, preliminary data from Stichting NICE showed that 482 people with Covid-19 were admitted to Dutch hospitals the past seven days. That was down 53 percent from last week’s finalized total of 1,017. The new admissions include 50 people sent directly to intensive care, down from 72 the week before, equal to a 31 percent reduction.
Patient coordination service LCPS said there were 1,165 patients with Covid-19 in Dutch hospitals on Tuesday afternoon. That total was 18 percent lower than a week earlier. Among them were 85 patients in intensive care units.
It was the first time since Thursday that the LCPS updated hospital figures. On that day, there were 1,238 patients in care, including 101 in the ICUs. Both the LCPS and the RIVM stopped reporting coronavirus data on weekends and holidays.