The number of registered positive coronavirus tests is going up and it is possible that the ‘expected autumn wave has begun,’ health institute RIVM said on Tuesday.
The positive tests total, hospital admissions and the key reproduction rate have all risen over the past week, the RIVM said in its weekly update. Experts have warned that a new wave is extremely likely.
‘Vaccinations and testing are extremely important in this phase to prevent the figures from rising sharply,’ the institute said.
In total, the institute registered 12,269 positive tests in the previous seven days, the highest number since August 13 and a rise of 39% on the previous week. The figures do not reflect the true number of infections because only health service workers, people who cannot self test and people who need a coronavirus certificate are currently being checked at the GGD test centres.
Hospital admissions are also going up. Last week, 287 people were admitted to hospital with coronavirus, the highest number in a five week period. In total, 596 people are being treated in hospital for coronavirus, of whom 35 are in an intensive care ward – a figure the RIVM described as ‘relatively low’.
The reproduction number, which shows how fast the virus is spreading, has also gone up, reaching its highest level since July, at 1.1. That means a group of 100 people with coronavirus will infect a further 110.
As part of the preparations for winter, earlier this month the government launched a new vaccination campaign. Everyone over the age of 12 is now eligible for an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, provided they have not had a booster jab or a coronavirus infection in the last three months.
Just over two-thirds of adults are classed as fully vaccinated, meaning they had the original two vaccines in 2021 and a booster shot last winter.
However, according to research by I&O, around half of Dutch adults are not planning to take a booster vaccination against coronavirus this autumn.
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