Covid hospital patient total jumps 17 percent; New infections rise by 29 percent
Hospitals in the Netherlands were treating nearly 17 percent more patients with Covid-19 compared to a week earlier, patient coordination office LCPS said on Tuesday. That included also an important rise in the number of intensive care patients, though the ICU total has remained relatively low compared to previous waves of coronavirus infections. Additionally, new coronavirus infections reached the highest point in almost three months, with the BA.5 version of the Omicron variant now the most common in the Netherlands.
There were 727 patients with the coronavirus disease in hospital care, up from 605 last Tuesday afternoon. The more recent patient total was more than double the figure on June 10, when hospital figures were holding near the lowest point in months.
The current patient figure included 35 people in intensive care, an increase of 13 in a week. The other 692 patients were in regular care wards, an increase of 109.
The average number of daily hospital admissions also jumped by over a third. Hospitals took on an average of 97 new patients with Covid-19 each of the past seven days, with four of them sent directly to intensive care units on a daily basis. Preliminary figures from the RIVM and Stichting NICE were the highest reported during a one-week period since April.
In its regular weekly update, the RIVM said that 34,145 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus during the seven-day period that ended Tuesday morning. It was the highest total in 11 weeks. That was 29 percent higher than the 26,462 that tested positive a week earlier, and more than twice the figure reported by the health institute two weeks ago. In fact, 5,785 people tested positive just between Monday and Tuesday, the highest tally in 77 days.
About 70.0 percent of the 42,250 people tested by the GGD received a positive result. That was near the highest-ever positivity rate, a record set in March. Some 68.2 percent of people tested positive last week, when 32,050 tests were carried out by the GGD. The total number of tests conducted rose by 32 percent to the highest level in nearly three months.
The seven-day moving average has shot up this month, and was about five-times the figure reported four weeks ago. Those weekly totals only include tests which were recorded by the GGD health services, and do not include self-tests conducted at home.
Due to the increased reliance on self-testing, Dutch health officials use sewage monitoring as a more accurate indicator of the state of the coronavirus pandemic in the Netherlands. On average nationally, there was a 49.2 percent increase in the number of virus particles found in sewage water between June 13 - 19, the 24th week of the year, compared to the previous period. “The viral loads were again highest in the metropolitan areas, especially in and around Amsterdam. In the first half of week 25, the average number of virus particles increased further by 30.3%, which was very high, especially in and around The Hague,” the RIVM said.
The health institute also noted that the BA.5 Omicron variant was now the most commonly observed variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. It is not believed to be more pathogenic than the BA.2 sub-variants, which had been most common in the Netherlands. This means people are not likely to develop more severe symptoms after becoming infected. “However, there are indications that antibodies may be less effective against these variants,” the RIVM stated.
The basic reproduction (R) value also fell from 1.25 to 1.16. The health institute’s models showed that 100 people contagious with the coronavirus on June 13 likely infected 116 others, who then passed it on to another 135 people. They then spread the virus to 157 others. When the R-value is above 1.00 it indicates the number of infections will likely continue to rise.
The RIVM registered 15 deaths from Covid-19 last week, up from 11 the week before. There is no obligation to submit cause of death reports to the RIVM in a timely manner.