Covid hospitalizations continue to fall rapidly; New infections at 72-week low
Hospital admissions related to Covid-19 continued to fall rapidly, said patient coordination service LCPS on Tuesday. The number of patients admitted into care has dropped by almost half since the end of October, and the decline was expected to continue for at least two more weeks. At the same time, the number of new coronavirus infections diagnosed in the last seven days fell to a 72-week low.
An average of 67 patients with the coronavirus disease were admitted into care each of the past seven days, a total decrease of 29 percent. That includes intensive care admissions, which fell by one per day to an average of three. At the start of the month, hospitals were averaging 120 total admissions per day, with six sent directly to intensive care.
This diverged a bit from figures used by the RIVM, which indicate those people actually being treated for Covid-19 symptoms. The health institute counted 337 admissions during the last calendar week, a 21 percent drop, with 22 sent directly to an ICU, compared to 33 the previous week.
Hospitals on Tuesday were treating 714 patients with the coronavirus disease, a decrease of 16 percent in a week, the LCPS said. That includes 36 patients in intensive care units, up from 33 last Tuesday. The patient total was near its lowest level since the end of September.
Meanwhile, the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus during an official test dropped by 21 percent in a week. Some 7,719 people tested positive during the seven-day period ending on Tuesday morning, down from almost 9,000 the previous week, the RIVM said in its weekly report. That was the lowest recorded total since the last week of June 2021, though there was also a 24 percent fall in testing, bringing those figures to the lowest point in about two years.
The current figures do not include people who had a positive self-test at home, but did not visit the health services for an official test. Over six months ago, the Dutch government stopped advising people to get a confirmation of their positive self-tests.
Still, there were other signs that the autumn wave was continuing to fade. The random sample of people living in the Netherlands reporting symptoms of Covid-19 fell from 4.0 percent to 3.8 percent. Just 0.9 percent of panelists tested positive, down from 1.3 percent.
Additionally, sewage surveillance showed a 15 percent reduction in coronavirus particles from the last week of October into the first week of November, and there were signs it was falling further. On the other hand, sewage figures rose sharply in the Amsterdam region at the start of the second week of November.
The offshoots of the BA.5 Omicron variant of the coronavirus continued to be most prevalent, with the BF.7 subvariant increasingly visible. The BQ.1 including BQ.1.1 also were observed more frequently. “The latest calculations indicate that BQ.1 may soon become dominant in the Netherlands. Such estimates always involve uncertainties. It is therefore also possible that several subvariants, including BQ.1, continue to circulate side by side,” the RIVM said.
The basic reproduction (R) value remained at 0.79, indicating that 100 people contagious with the coronavirus on 1 November likely infected 79 others. They passed the infection on to another 62 individuals, who then spread the coronavirus to 49 others. As long as the R-value holds below 1.00, the number of new weekly infections will be projected to decrease.