Infections with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands continued to rise this week. This increase can be seen in sewage surveillance and in the infections reported to the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs). Following the upward trend in infections, the number of hospital admissions also rose last week.
Last week, the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 rose to 34,145 (+29%), increasing all across the Netherlands and among all age groups (Figure 1). Nationwide levels of virus particles in sewage are rising (Figure 2). The percentage of participants in the Infection Radar survey reporting symptoms that could indicate COVID-19 stabilised.
Figure 1: Number of reported positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants, by age group (9 May 2022 to 26 June 2022)
Figure 2: Average number of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in sewage per 100,000 inhabitants in the Netherlands per day since September 2021.
Increase in hospital and ICU admissions
More people with SARS-CoV-2 were admitted to hospital in the past week, compared to the week before. 32 new patients with SARS-CoV-2 were admitted to ICU (+10%). The number of people in ICU with SARS-CoV-2 is still low compared to, for example, the peak caused by the Delta variant in December 2021.
Testing, staying home and vaccinating
The results from round 20 of the survey-based study conducted by RIVM’s Corona Behavioural Unit show that the percentage of participants who used a self-test or got tested by the GGD if they had symptoms decreased from 88% to 65% between March and June of this year. It continues to be important to stay home and use a self-test if you have symptoms, even if your symptoms are mild. It is also important to stay home if you test positive for COVID-19 to prevent the virus from spreading.
The Corona Behavioural Unit also asked participants about their reason for not getting a repeat vaccination against COVID-19. Survey participants who are eligible for a repeat vaccination, but do not want one, think that previous vaccination(s) give them sufficient protection and “do not want to keep focusing on vaccinations against the coronavirus”. Even so, a repeat vaccination reduces the risk of ending up in hospital, making it one and a half times less likely compared to people who have not had a repeat injection after the booster jab. Also, the booster jab reduces the risk of hospital admission by more than 3 times compared to the basic series of vaccinations. The risk of infecting someone else is also reduced after a booster jab and repeat vaccination.
Anyone who is still eligible for a booster jab or repeat vaccination can use this extra dose of vaccine to protect themselves and the people around them against serious illness.