Wednesday 15 July 2020

Most people are picking up coronavirus through family contacts: RIVM

Photo: DutchNews.nl

RIVM director Jaap van Dissel told MPs on Thursday that most people who are now being infected with Covid-19 have picked the virus up at home or via family members.

The track and trace system was implemented at the beginning of June alongside mass testing to follow the spread of the virus and to act to close down local outbreaks.

‘We have to keep a finger on the pulse and remain alert,’ Van Dissel said. ‘But we are now rarely coming across positive results. We are looking at the last of this outbreak.’

Tests

Some 10,000 people are day are being tested by local health boards, but only 0.9% are proving positive.

At the same time, blood bank research indicates that one million people, or 5.5% of the population, have built up antibodies to the virus, health board chief Sjaak de Gouw told MPs during the briefing.

This means many people in the Netherlands have had the virus without being aware of it, making it extra important that everyone with even mild complaints has a test, he said. The figures would also indicate that just 3.5% of people who have been infected ended up in hospital.

The official coronavirus death toll in the Netherlands rose by three overnight to 6,100, taking the number of deaths in the week to June 24 to 13.

A further five people have been admitted to hospital and 111 more people have tested positive for coronavirus, the RIVM said on Thursday.

Nearly 50,000 people have now been officially diagnosed with Covid-19, but the positive result rate has been slowing since the start of mass testing at the beginning of June. Many parts of the country, including large parts of the north, have had no new reports at all in the past two weeks.

From next week, the RIVM will publish weekly rather than daily updates.

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