Saturday 18 September 2021

Daily coronavirus figures say little because of testing patterns, say experts

PHoto: DutchNews.nl

The strong fluctuations in the number of positive coronavirus tests continued at the weekend, with Saturday’s total dropping nearly 1,300 to 4,499, only for 5,609 cases to be reported on Sunday, figures from public health institute RIVM show.

At the same, the number of hospital admissions fell on Sunday, and just 18 people were admitted to intensive care wards. There are now 1,700 coronavirus patients in hospital, of whom 506 are in IC, as more people are discharged than admitted.

The RIVM and regional health boards say the daily figures do not give a proper indication of how coronavirus is spreading in the Netherlands because they do not take testing patterns into account.

More tests are carried out at the beginning of the week which means the number of positive tests is likely to be higher on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, a health board spokeswoman told broadcaster NOS

At the same time, the proportion of positive tests is slightly higher at the weekend. ‘We think this is because people who have a test at the weekend may have more serious symptoms,’ the spokeswoman said. ‘People are giving up one of their days off, and then they may really feel that something is wrong.’

IT problems have also caused fluctuations in the results flow, but those are now largely under control, she said.

‘The daily figures don’t show a trend. If you want to see a trend, you need to look at th weekly figures,’ RIVM spokeman Harald Wychgel told the broadcaster.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.