Carnaval week triggers 80% surge in positive coronavirus tests

Photo: Jjoosst via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Jjoosst via Wikimedia Commons

Coronavirus cases were up by almost 80% in the first week of March, fuelled by a spike in the southern provinces over the Carnaval weekend.

The public health agency RIVM’s latest weekly bulletin reported another 439,775 positive tests in the last seven days, compared to 245,898 the week before. The proportion of positive tests hit a record high level of 70%.

The highest infection rate in the 25 safety board (GGD) regions was in Noord-Brabant, where 4,987 out of every 100,000 people tested positive for the virus, almost double the national average of 2,517.

Cases in Noord-Brabant were 372% higher than the previous week’s level of 1,316, while similar spikes were recorded in Midden en West-Brabant (375%), Limburg-Zuid (354%), Limburg-Noord (337%) and Brabant-Zuidoost (289%).

Source: RIVM

Cases increased in every age group, but the rise was highest in people aged 15 to 30, where positive tests more than doubled.

Hospital admissions rose marginally from 1,118 last week to 1,171, while the number of patients taken into intensive care fell from 98 to 82, but the RIVM cautioned that increases in cases typically take two weeks to show up in the healthcare numbers.

The number of recorded deaths also fell, from 63 last week to 56.

Source: RIVM
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