1,214 patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection were admitted to hospital in the Netherlands in the past week*, a decrease of 12% compared to the week before that. New ICU admissions remained about the same as the week before, rising slightly to 97 patients (+2%). The number of positive tests decreased by 37% in the past week compared to the week before. The number of people who were tested also decreased by 38% compared to the week before.
Positive COVID-19 tests
The downward trend in infections seems to be holding steady. The number of reported positive COVID-19 tests decreased for the second week in a row. In the past week, the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 decreased by 37% compared to the week before that. A total of 310,144 positive tests were reported to RIVM. Nearly 520,000 people came to the test lanes of the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) to get tested for SARS-CoV-2. This is a decrease of nearly 38% compared to the week before that. The number of positive tests decreased in all age groups and in all regions. The differences between the age groups diminished. In the age groups of 70-79 years and over-80s, the number of reported positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants continued to be lower than in younger age groups (Figure 1). There are significant regional differences, with the most positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants reported in the security regions of Fryslân (2,577) and Groningen (2,304) and the fewest in Zaanstreek-Waterland (1,391) and Rotterdam-Rijnmond (1,271).
Even after relaxation of the measures, it is still important to prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible, especially among people who are over 70 and people in vulnerable health. They are more likely to end up in hospital if they get COVID-19. Avoid infecting vulnerable people or older people by using a self-test before you visit, and not visiting if you have symptoms.
Figure 1: Number of reported positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants, by age group (10 January 2022 to 20 February 2022).
Hospital admissions and reason for admission
In the week of 14 to 20 February 2022, 1,214 new patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection were admitted to hospital (last week: 1,381, -12%), and 97 of those patients were admitted to ICU (last week: 95, +2%).
Since 25 January 2022, hospitals are using the NICE records to report the reason for hospital and ICU admission** of new patients with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the past four weeks, there have been minimal changes in the distribution of patients with COVID-19 based on admission reason.
Between 25 January and 21 February 2022, 5,145 patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection were admitted to hospital in the Netherlands. For 3,229 (63%) of these patients, the reason for hospital admission** was known; for 37%, the reason for hospital admission was not (yet) known. For 52%, COVID-19 was the main reason for hospital admission. In 17% of admitted patients with a known admission reason, the SARS-CoV-2 infection had exacerbated a pre-existing health condition. Without a SARS-CoV-2 infection, these vulnerable patients would not have been admitted to hospital. In other words, COVID-19 was the main reason or one of the relevant reasons for hospital admission in 7 out of 10 patients with known admission reasons between 25 January and 21 February 2022 (see Figure 2).
Between 25 January and 21 February, 397 patients with a SARS-CoV-2 infection were admitted to ICU in the Netherlands. For 321 (81%) of these patients, the reason for hospital admission was known; for 19%, the reason for hospital admission was not (yet) known. For 63%, COVID-19 was the main reason for ICU admission. In 17% of patients admitted to ICU with a known admission reason, the SARS-CoV-2 infection had exacerbated a pre-existing health condition. Without COVID-19, these vulnerable patients would not have been admitted to ICU. COVID-19 was the main reason for ICU admission in 8 out of 10 patients with known admission reasons (see Figure 3). In all age groups, COVID-19 was the most common reason or trigger for ICU admission.
Figure 2: Admission reason** for 3,229 of the 5,145 patients with SARS-CoV-2 admitted to nursing wards between 25 January and 21 February 2022, as recorded by 22 February 2022 at 00:00.
Figure 3: Admission reason** for 321 of the 397 patients with SARS-CoV-2 admitted to intensive care units between 25 January and 21 February 2022, as recorded by 22 February 2022 at 00:00.
Reproduction number R
The most recent reproduction number for SARS-CoV-2 (7 February 2022) was 0.83 (0.82 – 0.84). The reproduction number decreased compared to the week before that (0.98 on 31 January 2022). That means that 100 people who had COVID-19 on 7 February 2022 will collectively infect another 83 new people.
Prevent the spread of the virus and help to prevent more hospital admissions by following the current measures, even if you are vaccinated. Get vaccinated if you have not yet done so, and get the booster to refresh your protection. Wash your hands regularly, and cough and sneeze into your elbow. If you have symptoms, stay home and get tested by the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) or use a self-test..
* Positive tests reported to RIVM between 15 February 2022 at 10:01 and 22 February 2022 at 10:00. The number of GGD tests, hospital admissions and ICU admissions are shown by calendar week.
** The admission reason for patients with SARS-CoV-2 has been divided into 4 categories.
- Due to COVID-19: COVID-19 is the reason for the patient’s admission and the patient is treated for that disease.
- Combination with COVID-19: COVID-19 is one of the reasons for admission: the patient is admitted because COVID-19 has exacerbated a pre-existing health condition, such as diabetes or heart failure. The patient would not have needed to be admitted without COVID-19.
- Other reason for admission: The reason for admission is not related to COVID-19: The patient is admitted for a different and does not need treatment for the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- Unknown: It is not (yet) known whether the reason for admission is related to the SARS-CoV-2 infection.