Covid overview could vanish with few showing up for testing, experts warn
Although there are few coronavirus patients left in intensive care units across the country and a dwindling number of positive tests, virologists say many people are still infected with the virus. However, diminished testing makes it hard to get an overview of the situation, according to the NOS.
Sewage measurements show there are more coronavirus infections in the population than in the same period last year. But the infected people rarely show up for testing: about 2,000 people get tested per day at the GGD, and around half are positive.
This makes it hard to see how the virus is developing in the Netherlands. Virologists say more of the general population should be sampled. "Put down a bus, test a group of people and then see how many infections there are and which variants are going around," said OMT member Menno de Jong.
Besides taking sewage measurements, the RIVM has set up a network of GPs who send in samples every week to gauge what diseases are in circulation. But this sample is too small to accurately tell what is happening in society.
However, by analyzing positive tests from the GGD, a lab at the Amsterdam UMC has determined that only around 69 percent of coronavirus infections are the omicron variant. A growing number of infections are with the BA4 and BA5 variants, which originated in South Africa.