The number of positive coronavirus tests has doubled in the week since the government scrapped most of its preventive measures, including the face mask mandate and restrictions on bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Latest figures from the public health agency RIVM show 8,541 people tested positive in the week to July 6 compared to 4,208 the previous week, an increase of 103%. The proportion of positive tests was also higher for the first time in eight weeks, going from 3.1% to 4.5%.
The marked decline in hospital admissions continued, with 47 people admitted in last week, half as many as in the last week of June. Seven people were admitted to intensive care, compared to 17 the week before, while 13 more deaths were recorded.
The spike in cases was concentrated in the 15 to 40 age group, with a 368% increase in people aged 20 to 25 and a 191% rise in the 15 to 19 bracket. Infections declined by 8.8% among children aged 10 to 14, the group with the highest infection level at the start of June.
The daily number of cases has shot up since the start of July, after declining by around 80% through the month of June. On Tuesday the RIVM reported another 2,253 cases, over 700 more than on Monday and a 320% increase from seven days ago.
Overall the number of positive tests per 100 people was up from 25 to 50. In some GGD health board regions the growth was much stronger, such as Groningen, where the infection rate went up by 458% from 15.7 to 72, Twente (23.3 to 65.1) and Amsterdam (31.1 to 117.2).
‘Even though more than 16 million vaccines have now been administered, a lot of people are still unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. It is still therefore very important to keep to the rules,’ the RIVM said in a statement.
The higher numbers partly reflected increased testing now that people require a negative test to enter venues such as nightclubs and festival sites where the 1.5 metre social distancing rule does not apply.
In the last seven days 154,104 tests were carried out, 22% more than a week ago, while the number of tests in the 18 to 30 age group was up by 75%. People aged under 25 accounted for 62.9% of all confirmed cases in the last week.
Nearly one-fifth of last week’s positive tests (18.9%) were traced to catering venues such as bars, clubs or restaurants, while social gatherings such as weddings and parties accounted for another 12.7%.
More than 11% of people who tested positive had travelled abroad in the last two weeks, of whom 70% had been to Spain or Portugal.
The RIVM calculated that the reproductive number R, which indicates how many people the average infected person passes the virus on to, was 0.97 on June 21, a week before the number of confirmed cases started rising.
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