In the past week, from 14 to 20 April, the reported number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 increased by 5.3%, rising to 53,981 newly reported infections. The percentage of people who tested positive in that week rose from 9.6% to 10.1%. With the exception of a dip due to the Easter weekend, the reported number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the Netherlands has risen almost every week since January. The reproduction number is completely above 1.

Fewer new hospital admissions related to COVID-19 were reported by hospitals. These figures are under-reported as a result of a technical malfunction earlier in the week. The number of reported new ICU admissions decreased slightly.*

Hospital admissions and ICU admissions

1,542 new COVID-19 hospital admissions were reported in the past week, which is under-reporting the situation compared to the actual figures. Due to a technical malfunction earlier in the week, hospitals have not yet reported all admissions to nursing wards. The actual number of hospital admissions will be announced later this week, once all the figures for the past week have been reported.  The number of new ICU admissions dropped slightly to 379, compared to 389 in the week before.*

Now that more and more elderly and vulnerable people have been vaccinated, there has been a relative increase in people from younger age groups hospitalised with COVID-19. GPs now also have more options for treating patients at home by providing resources such as supplementary oxygen and anti-inflammatory medication that could previously only be administered in hospital. As a result of this partnership between hospitals and GP practices, more people are being treated at home who would previously have been admitted to hospital.

The pressure that the coronavirus epidemic is placing on hospitals, Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) and other care providers, such as general practitioners, remains as high as before.

*Source: NICE Foundation

Reproduction number and contagious people

The reproduction number rose to 1.06 (lower limit 1.04 – upper limit 1.09) on 5 April. That means that the R is entirely above 1 again, and the number of people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 is still increasing. A reproduction number of 1.06 means that 100 people with COVID-19 will collectively infect another 106 people. There were more than 162,000 contagious people in the Netherlands on 12 April.

Reproduction numbers are also calculated based on hospital admissions and ICU admissions, and remain around 1, as in previous weeks. Due to the smaller data set, the calculations for these two reproduction numbers have a greater margin of uncertainty. On 5 April, the reproduction number based on hospital admissions was 0.98 (lower limit 0.85 – upper limit 1.12). On the same date, the reproduction number based on ICU admissions was 1.02 (lower limit 0.75 – upper limit 1.12).

Testing positive for COVID-19

493,510 people were tested in the past week. That is about the same as the week before (+1%). The percentage of people who tested positive for COVID-19 is now 10.1%. This also includes the first reports from people who contacted the GGD after testing positive on a COVID-19 self-test.

From 14 to 20 April, 310 people per 100,000 inhabitants received a positive test result for COVID-19. That figure was 294 reported positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants in the week before that.

Looking at the regions, the number of people per 100,000 inhabitants who tested positive was higher than 250 in 20 of the 25 GGD regions. There was a spike in the Zuid-Holland-Zuid region, which reported 499 positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants.

The number of reported positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants increased in most age groups (Figure 1). The highest number of new infections were in the age groups under 30 years old (+10 to +11% increase compared to the week before). The number of reported positive tests in the age group of 60 to 80 years stabilised, while the number of reported positive tests in people aged 80 and up continued to decrease (-11%) compared to the week before.

Figure 1. Reported positive tests by age group.

Follow the measures, even after a negative test result (or self-test) and vaccination

If everyone follows the basic measures, even if you just tested negative for COVID-19 or have been vaccinated, then fewer people will be infected and it will be possible to relax the measures sooner. Stay 1.5 metres from others, stay home if you have symptoms, get tested, and keep washing your hands regularly. Only use the self-test if you do not have any symptoms at all. If you do have symptoms, even if they are mild, make an appointment for a test at the GGD test lanes right away. Did you test positive for COVID-19 on the self-test? Stay home, isolate yourself from others, have your household members start quarantining, and contact the GGD. This is how we can stop the coronavirus from spreading.