The advance of the coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) in the Netherlands continues unabated. It is still too early to see the effects of the lockdown that was announced on 15 December.
In the past week, from 16 to 22 December, the reported number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 increased to 83,240. This is an increase of more than 24,000 newly reported infections compared to the week before, when 58,412 new infections were reported. Approximately 6,000 of these reports can be attributed to the week of 9 to 15 December; due to a system malfunction in that week, they were only reported last week. For the week of 16 to 22 December, this means an increase of about 20%, almost 13,000 more newly reported infections, compared to the previous week.
The increase in the number of reported positive tests per 100,000 was observed in all adult age groups. The highest number of reported positive tests per 100,000 people was in the age group of 13-17 years (figure 1). The number of people who were tested rose by 8.4% to 509,644 in the week of 14 to 20 December, but the percentage of people who tested positive also increased, from 12.1% in the week of 7 to 13 December to 13.6% in the week of 14 to 20 December.
Figure 1. Number of reported positive tests per age category per week.
Hospital admissions and ICU admissions
In the week of 14 to 20 December, the number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 increased again (+1,549). That is 223 more admissions than in the previous week, when 1,326 people were admitted to hospital. The number of people who became so ill that they had to be transferred to intensive care also increased. In the week of December 14 to 20, there were 287 new ICU admissions compared to the week before, when 230 new patients were reported in the ICU (Figure 2).
Figure 2: (A) Number of new COVID-19 patients per day in Dutch* nursing wards. (B) Number of new COVID-19 patients per day in Dutch* intensive care units.
*Including admissions to German ICUs when the Dutch ICUs were over capacity.
Nursing homes and residential care centres
The number of new nursing home locations and residential care centres with at least 1 confirmed COVID-19 infection increased again in the past week, rising from 152 in the week of 9 to 15 December to 207 in the past week. A nursing home or residential care centre is counted as a ‘new location’ if no new patients have been reported at least 28 days prior to the positive test result (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Number of new nursing home and residential care centre locations with at least one laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection from 31 August 2020 on.
Reproduction number and number of contagious people
The reproduction number R has increased. On 4 December, it was 1.25* (lower limit 1.22 – 1.27 upper limit) based on the reported number of people who tested positive for COVID-19. A reproduction number of 1.25 means that 100 people will collectively infect another 125 people with the virus. The reproduction number was 1.24 in the week before that. A reproduction number higher than 1 indicates that the virus is spreading more.
The number of contagious people has increased. In the week of 4 December, there were more than 122,000 people in the Netherlands who were contagious for the SARS-CoV-2 virus (lower limit 90,000, upper limit 155,000). This is an increase of 32,000 contagious people compared to the week before that, when there were 90,000 contagious people.
Keep following the measures during Christmas and New Year’s!
If you have symptoms that could indicate COVID-19, it continues to be necessary to stay home and get tested. To slow the continued spread of the virus, it is important for everyone to comply with the measures and the basic rules. Stay at least 1.5 metres from others. Stay home as much as possible, and minimise the number of people you have contact with. Work from home. If you have symptoms, stay home and get tested. Wash your hands frequently, especially when you arrive somewhere from outside.
RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment publishes open data that is accessible to everyone every day around 15.15 hrs (3:15 PM).
*The estimates for R from longer than 14 days ago are reliable. An estimated R based on data from less than 14 days ago involves more uncertainties. That is why we always look at the R from 14 days ago.
|Last week1||Two weeks ago2|
|Reports of people with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2|
|Newly reported COVID-19 infections||82,340||58,412|
|Hospital admissions to nursing wards (Source: NICE)3||1,549||1,326|
|Hospital admissions to Intensive Care (Source: NICE)3||287||230|
|GGD test lanes per calendar week4||week 51||week 50|
|Total number of tests of which results are known||476,671||442,954|
|Number of positive tests||64,930||53,530|
|Percentage of positive tests||13.6%||12.1%|
Not all of the reported hospital admissions or deaths occurred within the last 24 hours
¹GGD reports to RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
between 15 December 10:01 and 22 december 10:00 as published 22 December 2020 in the weekly epidemiological update on SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands.
²GGD reports to RIVM between 9 December 10:01 and 15 December 10:00, as published 15 December 2020 in the weekly epidemiological update on SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands.
³As published on 22 December 2020 in the weekly epidemiological update on SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands. The figures from the GGD test lanes were reported during the past week and current week, and may be updated to include any test results provided later.
4As published on 22 December 2020 in the weekly epidemiological update on SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands. The figures from the GGD test lanes were reported during the past week and current week, and may be updated to include any test results provided later.