Covid hospital patient total holds below 700 for 6th day; Infections at 10-week low
There were fewer than 700 patients with Covid-19 in Dutch hospitals for the sixth straight day, according to figures from patient coordinator LCPS. Meanwhile, new infections diagnosed over the past week were down by about a fifth, falling below 12,000 for the first time since the start of June.
There were 657 patients with the coronavirus disease in regular care wards, and 42 others in intensive care units, for a total of 699. That combined total is 5 percent lower compared to a week ago, but the ICU total jumped up. Last Tuesday, 33 patients with the disease were receiving treatment in intensive care.
“The average number of new admissions fell last week in the clinics; in the ICU this remained stable,” the LCPS said. Hospitals admitted an average of 83 patients with Covid-19 each of the past seven days, including five sent directly to an ICU. A week ago, 96 people with the disease were admitted daily, including four who required intensive care.
A different set of figures from the Dutch public health institute, RIVM, showed that 305 people with Covid-19 were admitted from Monday through Sunday. That reflected a 31 percent drop compared to the previous week. However, the data also showed a rise in intensive care admissions, from 23 to 26.
The total number of coronavirus infections diagnosed by the GGD fell to its lowest point since early June. Some 11,688 people received a positive diagnosis from the health service during the seven-day period ending on Tuesday morning. That was equivalent to a 21 percent drop compared to 14,878 the previous seven days.
With the entire country still in the middle of the summer school vacation period, testing figures also dropped off substantially, About 14,135 people were tested for the coronaviru at a GGD location the past calendar week. That was down 27 percent from 19,366 the previous week. Roughly two-thirds tested positive each of the past two weeks.
With people often encouraged to self-test instead of visiting the GGD for a diagnosis, a more reliable measure of the state of the pandemic has been the sewage water surveillance. The first week of August saw a 24 percent drop in coronavirus particles in sewer water compared to the last week of July. That decrease continued through August 10, with data still being collected. At the start of August, virus particulate matter was found most often in The Hague region, which could be shifting towards the Amsterdam area.
“The Omicron variant BA.5 was observed the most, and the BA.4 variant was again detected less often,” the RIVM said. “BA.5 has been the dominant variant in the Netherlands since June.” There had been a limited level of concern about the BA.2.75 variant discovered in July, which has been found twice in germ surveillance in the Netherlands. The RIVM said that “this variant also seems to be able to circumvent the built up immunity against COVID-19 more easily due to small specific changes. For the time being, the variant does not seem to be increasing rapidly, not even in the countries neighboring us.”
The basic reproduction (R) value remained at 0.81 for the second week. That means that 100 people contagious with the virus on August 1 infected 81 others, who then passed it on to 66 others. When the R-value is below 1.00, the average number of new weekly infections will likely fall.
The RIVM learned of 25 deaths linked to Covid-19 last week. That was down from 33 the previous week. There is no requirement to inform the RIVM of those deaths in a timely manner, and thus they may have taken place in a prior week.