Corona test at the new test location at the Leidse Plesmanlaan (Photo: Rob van Dullemen)
The number of newly counted infections in the Netherlands has increased by 38 percent this week to almost 54,000. That was more favorable than in the previous week, when the numbers increased by 60 percent. It is not the first hiccup in the advance of the new corona virus, but the fear of yet another rapid doubling has disappeared.
The contamination curve also flattened somewhat in our GGD region Hollands Midden. The 2824 new cases were a record, but the growth rate of 37 percent was clearly less than the 53 percent of the previous week.
a stronger increase of 46 percent was seen in Leiden, but that acceleration came after two weeks in which the infections in the city had already leveled off. On average over three weeks, corona increased less in Leiden than elsewhere. With 375 new cases per hundred thousand inhabitants, the city is no longer a conspicuous source of fire. The entire GGD region scores just as alarmingly high.
Leiderdorp has recently shown a sharp increase in new cases, from 39 two weeks ago to now 120. The number per 100,000 inhabitants came to an astronomical 443: the highest in the wider area, including The Hague.
Only Zoeterwoude had a comparable score, but that says less because of the small number of inhabitants. This week there were 37 new infections. With six fewer, the village would be in the same position as Leiden and Oegstgeest.
In hospitals, the number of corona patients continued to grow considerably, from over 1,200 to about 1,700 nationwide. In intensive care that number went from 254 to 386, an increase of more than fifty percent. This fell expected, because the strong increase in infections in September is now leading to a delay in hospital admissions.
Mortality from Covid-19 disease also continues to increase significantly. Twelve deaths were counted in our GGD region, more than the five and three cases in the two previous weeks. Leiden regretted two Covid deaths, as did Katwijk and Gouda. Four deaths were even counted in Alphen aan den Rijn. The reports of death sometimes arrive at the RIVM with a delay.
Nationally, the RIVM counted 190 deaths. That is almost half more than last week and the highest number since mid-May. In recent days, thirty people have died from the disease. This is clearly lower than the 100 deaths per day during the peak of April. But if infections continue to double, the damage could be just as great in November.
After this week, there is now a bit of cause for relief. The infection figures no longer double in 8 or 10, but in 13 days. The curve became noticeably less steep, especially in the second half of the week. From Monday to Thursday, the daily figures rose by a thousand cases to 7,900, the last three days that growth was only 300 cases – a striking flattening.
This cannot be due to the partial lockdown‘which started on Wednesday, October 14. Since that day, the catering industry and a large part of sports and culture have come to a standstill, to limit the contacts between people. However, due to the incubation period and the waiting times for a corona test, it is not until ten days later, so around next weekend, at the earliest, whether these measures have worked.
The leveling off of the last few days seems to be a sign that the risk of infection has already started to decline in the first week of October, a week after the press conference on September 28. Mark Rutte and Hugo de Jonge then reported that the catering industry had to close earlier and that there was no longer an audience for the sport. Because people mainly go to sports and the catering industry during the weekend, it is not surprising if these measures only started working on 3 and 4 October.
That weekend it was Leidens Ontzet in Leiden. And although that party was officially celebrated almost entirely ‘online’, behind the front door they actually processed herring, stew and a lot of booze. That could just be the explanation for the somewhat stronger increase in infections in Leiden this week.