Wednesday 25 May 2022

Coronavirus weekly numbers grow, with fears for intensive care staff levels

Testing at a drive through centre. Photo:

The number of positive coronavirus tests grew by 4.5% in the past week, and each person infected is passing on the virus to more than one other person, according to the latest weekly update from the RIVM public health institute.

These figures mean the end of a decline in the infections, which had been observed since mid-July, but epidemiologists said it was what they had expected.

‘We are seeing a more or less constant picture, with a slight increase or stabilisation,’ Aura Timen, head of the national coordination centre for communicable disease control, told NOS broadcaster. ‘This is in line with what we had expected.’

Although there were more positive tests, more people were also being tested. However, for the first time since July 10, the R-value (the number of people each sick person infects) was above 1, at 1.01. This would mean 100 infected people would pass on coronavirus to 101 people and it marks an increasing pattern in infection.

However, more people had also been on holiday, with one in five positive tested people having recently been abroad to locations such as Spain, Greece and France. In the previous two and a half months only one in nine positive-tested people had recently taken a trip abroad.

Up to August 22, an estimated 22.6 million vaccinations had been given in the Netherlands, with 10.1 million people double jabbed.

The numbers of people in hospital and in intensive care were roughly consistent with previous weeks, with 533 people entering hospital in the week up to 24 August, compared with 560 the week before, but slightly more people in intensive care.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Volkskrant reports that a shortage of IC nurses could have consequences for coronavirus patients in the autumn, when the disease may flare again.

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