Numbers shot up again this week with about a 50% increase of infections from last week’s numbers. The Netherlands continues to perform embarrassingly compared to our neighbouring countries.

This week saw 27,485 new positive coronavirus cases, up from 19,326 last week.

Hospitalizations have increased too, with 803 admissions to nursing wards (up from 501 last week) and 122 admitted to intensive care unites (100 last week).

The good news is that this week saw fewer deaths than last week, dropping from 102 to 89.

But compared to our neighbours, we are not performing well at all. Italy will now be testing all travelers from the Netherlands upon arrival.

Urgent mouth mask advice

Since the start of the pandemic, the Dutch government have avoided any regulations around mouth masks. But last Tuesday, following the increasingly high infection numbers of the second wave, Prime Minister Rutte urgently advised the nation to wear masks in public indoor spaces immediately.

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However, the advice cannot be enforced in any way since it comes only as advice and not a duty. This has caused criticism as 71% of the Dutch adults want mouth masks to become mandatory in public spaces.

Elderly and vulnerable hours at grocery stores

Hours reserved for the elderly and vulnerable at grocery stores have once again been implemented. Between 7am and 8am every weekday, all stores will have this in place. A second hour in the day will also be in effect, but each store is free to choose which hour this will be. However, those who do not fit into these categories are unlikely to be turned away, as medical fitness cannot be questioned for privacy reasons.

Heart problems linked to coronavirus

This week, a Dutch study revealed that almost 12% of hospitalized corona patients develop heart problems. This includes heart rhythm disorders, heart failure, and cardiac arrest. However, some of the study participants had pre-existing heart conditions and those who developed heart issues after being infected with corona tended to be those who were in intensive care units. More research needs to be done on the potential long-term effects of the coronavirus.

Dutch university students won’t be urged to wear face masks

Despite the urgent advice issued to wear masks last Tuesday, the Dutch Minister of Education Ingrid van Engelshoven has announced that this will not apply to university students. She believes that the 1.5 metre distance requirement is enough. However, she faces criticism from education trade unions who argue that it does not make sense to wear a mask to the grocery story but not to school.

Church service welcomes hundreds of visitors

Meanwhile, this week a church in Staphorst hosted over 600 people during their services, and have received widespread criticism for it. Since religious gatherings are exempt from the maximum 30 people gathering rule, the church was technically not breaking coronavirus measures. The church claims that members disinfected their hands before entering the building, and the 1.5 metre distancing was kept. However, masks were not required and singing took place as usual.

While the mayor of Staphorst sees no reason to intervene, MPs are not pleased with the large church services. They have called the gatherings “totally impossible to explain” and “really irresponsible”.

What do you think about the current coronavirus measures? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: ©David Pereiras/Canva.com

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