Weekly update of COVID situation – week 38

weekly covid update
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In the Infection Radar survey last week, the percentage of participants with COVID-19 like complaints slightly increased, 3.1%, compared to the week before, 2.4%. The number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 reported to the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) increased slightly, 6%, compared to the week before.

The number of people who were tested for COVID-19 by the GGD increased slightly (+8%). On 6 September 2022, the reproduction number based on reported positive tests was 0.97 (0.91 – 1.04). The number of new hospital admissions of patients with SARS-CoV-2 was stable (-3%) compared to the week before. The number of new ICU admissions of patients with SARS-CoV-2 remained relatively low; there were 18 ICU admissions last week (+13%), compared to 16 ICU admissions the week before.

Sewage surveillance

In sewage surveillance, the national average viral load in week 36 (5 – 11 September 2022) increased by 21.2%. But, in the first half of week 37 (12 – 14 September), the average number of virus particles decreased by 22.6%. A significant increase was observed in Brabant-Zuidoost, which also saw the highest figures in sewage surveillance in that period. The regions that showed the biggest increase (Brabant-Noord) or the highest sewage surveillance figures (Gooi- en Vechtstreek, Brabant-Zuidoost) in week 36 also showed the biggest decrease in the first half of week 37. The BA.5 Omicron sub-variant is still observed most frequently in sewage surveillance. One sample was found to contain a Delta variant, and one sample contained the Omicron BA.2.75 variant.

Virus variants from pathogen surveillance

So far, the Omicron variant has five sub-variants that are currently being monitored closely. These have been designated BA.1, BA.2 (including sub-variants BA.2.12.1 and BA.2.75), BA.3, BA.4 and BA.5.

Sub-variant BA.5 became dominant in the Netherlands in June 2022. The percentage of these and other variants is being monitored in the context of pathogen surveillance and by means of variant PCR.

Since July 2022, various countries have recently observed a new sub-variant of the Omicron BA.2 lineage: BA.2.75. This sub-variant has been found in India, Australia, Japan, Canada, the USA, Germany, Denmark and the UK, among other countries. BA.2.75 has been increasing recently in pathogen surveillance in the Netherlands. It is too early to say whether this will lead to an increase in the number of infections. BA.2.75 seems to have minor specific mutations that enable it to more easily evade the immunity built up against COVID-19 (by vaccination or previous infection). There are no indications that the BA.2.75 sub-variant is more likely to cause severe illness compared to the other Omicron sub-variants. This sub-variant seems to be increasing slowly in the Netherlands and in the surrounding countries. RIVM will continue to monitor the situation.

Numbers

According to the RIVM updates, last week 8,820 persons reported positive corona test results and 249 persons newly hospitalised compared to 8,327 and 256, respectively, the week before. Among the hospitalised patients, 18 were admitted to Intensive care units compared to 16 patients the week before. The COVID-19 related mortality number decreased to 10 compared to 11 deaths, the week before.

Source: RIVM.nl

Translated: Yawar Abbas

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