Wednesday 25 November 2020

Daily coronavirus cases pass 900 per day as demand for tests surges

Testing at a drive through centre. Photo:

The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands jumped to its highest level in nearly five months, continuing a trend that started at the end of last week.

Another 925 positive tests were reported on Sunday by the public health agency RIVM, following 654 on Saturday. After two weeks in which new cases stabilised at around 500 per day the number has been above 600 for five days in a row.

The increase is concentrated in the large cities, with 132 new cases on Sunday in Amsterdam, 115 in The Hague and 78 in Rotterdam.

Smaller-scale outbreaks have been reported in Delft, where 24 positive tests were reported, equivalent to 5.8 in every 100,000 people, and Ouder-Amstel, near Amsterdam, where the proportion was 5.7 per 100,000.

An outbreak has also been reported in a nursing home in Oud-Beijerland, where 14 patients and 15 staff tested positive in a mass screening.

On Sunday 138 coronavirus patients were in hospital, of whom 33 were in intensive care. At the peak of the outbreak in April 4,000 people were receiving hospital treatment, 1,400 of them on the intensive care ward.

The increase is partly explained by a rise in the number of people being tested, particularly teachers since the schools returned in August. Local health services and laboratories are reported to be struggling to deliver test results within 48 hours as they approach their capacity of 30,000 tests per day.

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