Covid infections may be stabilizing at new peak, but hospital total jumps 20 percent
The number of coronavirus infections diagnosed in the Netherlands rose by another 15 percent over the past seven days, but the rate of increase has shown signs of slowing, the RIVM said on Tuesday. Despite the lukewarm analysis of the current state of the pandemic, the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 rose by over 19 percent in a week.
Some 39,283 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus during the seven-day period ending on Tuesday morning. A week earlier, that total was 34,145. Infections diagnosed by the GGD have been rising since the start of June, even though the Dutch government no longer actively encourages people to get tested by the health service as a way to confirm a self-test result. This week's figure was more than 5.5 times the total of 7,088 recorded during the last week of May.
"The number of reports is therefore still increasing, but the increase was less rapid than in the previous weeks," the RIVM said. It also noted that the proportion of users on the Infectieradar website reporting symptoms of Covid-19 has stabilized. "This data seems to suggest that we are approaching the peak of infections during this summer wave."
Per capita infections rose in every age group last week, except among those aged 13-17, the data showed. The biggest increase was among those in their late twenties, who saw infections rise by over one-fourth, while those in their late teens saw infections fall by less than one percent.
An analysis of sewer water completed during the third week of June showed at 27.2 percent increase in coronavirus particles. "The sewage figures were highest in the west of the country, especially in and around The Hague," the RIVM stated. At the start of the last week of June, virus particulate matter was very high in and around Amsterdam, with a sharp national increase of over one-third. The BA.5 Omicron Variant continued to be the most commonly found version of the coronavirus, while the BA.4 and BA.2.12.1 variants remained, but were less frequently observed.
"According to the WHO, these new variants appear to be no more sickening than the BA.2 variant that was most common in the Netherlands until recently. However, there are indications that antibodies may be less effective against these variants," the RIVM repeated.
The GGD registered a positivity rate of 71.0 percent, which likely set a new record, compared to 70.0 percent during the third week of June. Over 48,100 people were tested at the GGD, a 14 percent weekly increase. The basic reproduction value fell from 1.16 to 1.06, meaning that 100 people contagious with the virus on June 20 infected 106 others. They passed the coronavirus on to 112 more individuals.
Covid-19 patient total jumps to its highest level in over two months
There were 867 patients with Covid-19 in Dutch hospitals on Tuesday afternoon, according to patient coordination service LCPS. That total was just over 19 percent higher compared to a week earlier. The figure has doubled in 19 days to its highest point since the last week of April.
The current patient total included 45 people in intensive care units, an increase of 10 in a week. The ICU tally has doubled since June 21, with the intensive care staff treating the highest number of Covid-19 patients since the start of May. Hospitals took on an average of 155 patients with Covid-19 each of the past seven days, up 24 percent in a week. That includes 11 daily ICU admissions, up from eight the previous week.
The RIVM presented data only for the last calendar week, which showed a 19 percent increase in Covid-19 hospital admissions. There were 520 new patients receiving treatment for the disease, including 24 sent to intensive care. A week earlier, 437 patients were admitted, including 32 sent to intensive care.
The public health institute was also notified of 30 deaths linked to Covid-19, up from 15 during the seven-day period ending on June 28.