Dutch Covid hospital total and coronavirus infections both doubled in about 2 weeks
Hospitals in the Netherlands were treating 873 people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus on Tuesday afternoon, the highest total in two months. The figure increased by 38 percent in a week, and was more than double the total reported on 16 September. Any ambiguity about the arrival of the autumn coronavirus wave disappeared, with the disclosure that more than 19,000 new infections were recorded in the Netherlands, an increase of 55 percent in a week, and more than double the weekly total revealed on 20 September.
Last week, the RIVM noted that it was likely the anticipated new wave of infections was underway. This week, the public health institute stressed the importance of testing and staying current with vaccinations to prevent the prospect of another lockdown. “In order to keep the Netherlands open, with everyone able to access healthcare, it is now even more important to test when symptoms arise, and to get the repeat jab,” the RIVM said.
Hospital total shoots up in 18 days
Out of the current hospital patient tally, 840 were being treated in regular care wards, with the remaining 33 in intensive care units. The ICU tally actually dropped by two since last Tuesday, according to data from patient coordination service LCPS.
The hospitals admitted an average of 134 patients each of the past seven days, a 58 percent increase compared to a week earlier. That total was bolstered by 150 new patient admissions just in the past 24 hours, the most since 26 July. The current weekly average includes five people sent directly to intensive care daily, up from three last week.
The LCPS includes all patients who test positive for the coronavirus in its data, even if they do not exhibit serious symptoms of Covid-19, as placing them in isolation strains hospital resources. The LCPS monitors hospital status and work conditions, and can coordinate moving patients from busier hospitals to facilities with more capacity.
Known coronavirus infections jump by 55% in a week
The RIVM said that 19,031 people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus during the seven-day period ending on Tuesday morning. Some 12,269 tested positive the previous week, and 8,820 others were diagnosed with the infection the week before that. The current total stood was the highest reported by the RIVM in its weekly roundup since the week ending 2 August.
Ten months ago, the Dutch government stopped advising people to visit the GGD or a healthcare provider to confirm they are infected with the coronavirus after a positive result from a self-test kit. As a result, the number of infections recorded by the RIVM are likely far lower than the actual number of people infected. Even still, testing by the GGD health services rose by 47 percent with fewer than 3,300 people tested daily during the last calendar week.
Aside from the increase in infections, the RIVM's weekly panel survey found that the number of people with Covid-like symptoms rose from 4.6 percent to 6.0 percent. More coronavirus particles were also found in sewer water. During the 19-25 September calendar week, virus particles rose by 24 percent in national surveillance. The beginning of the following week showed a sharper 55 percent jump.
The basic reproduction (R) value rose significantly from 1.03 to 1.18. That means that 100 people contagious with the coronavirus on 13 September passed it on to 118 others. They then infected 139 individuals, who were expected to further infect 164 more.
The BA.5 coronavirus variant remained the most common found in germ surveillance. The RIVM noted the appearance of an increase in the BA4.6 and BA2.75 sub-variants, but said there was little changed from last week.