RIVM weekly update of COVID situation – week 34

weekly covid update
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In the Infection Radar survey last week, the percentage of participants with COVID-19 like complaints decreased slightly to -1.6% as compared to -1.9%, the week before. The number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 reported to the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) decreased (-24%) compared to the week before. The number of people who were tested for COVID-19 by the GGD also decreased significantly (-17%).

On 8 August 2022, the reproduction number based on reported positive tests was 0.88 (0.83 – 0.93). The number of new hospital admissions of patients with SARS-CoV-2 remained the same compared to the week before. The number of new ICU admissions of patients with SARS-CoV-2 also remained stable and relatively low; there were 27 ICU admissions last week, compared to 26 ICU admissions the week before.

Sewage surveillance

The sewage surveillance result of week 32 (8 – 14 August), showed a decrease of 32.9%  in the national average virus load as compared to week 31. In the first half of week 33 (15 – 17 August), the average number of virus particles increased slightly compared to the week before that, rising by 13.4%. In both weeks, the average number of virus particles was highest in Amsterdam-Amstelland. The BA.5 Omicron sub-variant was observed most frequently, while the BA.4 sub-variant was detected less often once again.

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.

Since June 2022, Omicron BA.5 has been the dominant variant in the Netherlands (>90% of the tested samples since week 29). According to the WHO, these variants do not appear to cause more serious illness than the BA.2 variant that was recently most prevalent in the Netherlands. However, there are indications that antibodies may be less effective against these variants.

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 and the UK, among other countries. This sub-variant has also been detected several times in pathogen surveillance in the Netherlands. Not much is known about BA.2.75 at this point. Like other Omicron sub-variants, BA.2.75 does seem to have minor specific mutations that enable it to more easily evade the immunity built up against COVID-19. For the time being, this sub-variant does not seem to be increasing rapidly or in the Netherlands or in the surrounding countries. RIVM will continue monitoring the situation.


According to the RIVM updates, last week 8,906 persons reported positive corona test results and 305 persons were newly hospitalised as compared to 11,688 and 305, respectively, the week before. Among the hospitalised patients, 27 were admitted to intensive care units as compared to 26 patients the week before. The COVID-19 related mortality number slightly increased to 31 as compared to 25 deaths, the week before.

Source: RIVM.nl

Translated: Yawar Abbas

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