This week’s new figures from the RIVM show the grim reality of coronavirus in the Netherlands. A press conference tonight will discuss the new measures intended to slow the spread.
Over the past week, the Netherlands saw its highest increase in new coronavirus infections yet with 43,903 new cases. This marks a dramatic increase of 16,418 from the previous week‘s 27,485 new cases.
The number of daily infections also reached a new record, with 7,378 new positive tests reported in the last 24 hours.
Hospitals admitted 1,144 new patients in the last week, of which 192 are in ICU. This is a sharp leap from the previous week’s 802 hospitalizations and 121 ICU patients.
Coronavirus-related deaths are also on the rise, with 150 new confirmed deaths. Last week’s figures reported 89 deaths.
The upcoming measures
A press conference will be held tonight at 7pm to announce the new measures intended to combat the spread of the virus. Details of the new restrictions have already been leaked. They are said to include:
- the full closure of restaurants and bars;
- alcohol sales banned past 8pm;
- the cancelling of amateur sports;
- only using public transport if absolutely necessary;
- group gatherings in public places are limited to four people from different households; and,
- the current three guests per household rule is being tightened to stipulate three guests per household, per day.
The measures stop just short of an intelligent lockdown, as the Netherlands saw during the early stages of the pandemic. They are expected to take effect tomorrow evening at 6pm and last for two weeks. However, some experts say that a full lockdown is the only way to effectively stop the spread of the virus.
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The cabinet’s crisis roadmap
The Volkskrant has published a roadmap containing the cabinet’s plans for managing the coronavirus crisis, though it cannot yet be confirmed as definitive. The roadmap includes the measures to be considered for each risk level, of which there are four: vigilant, worrisome, serious, and very serious. The Netherlands’ risk level is currently assessed as ‘serious’, though quickly approaching ‘very serious’.
First death due to reinfection
In other coronavirus related news this week, an 89-year-old Dutch woman was the first person confirmed by virologists to have died from a second coronavirus infection. There have been only 23 other individuals in the world with confirmed reinfections, each of whom has recovered. The woman suffered from a rare form of cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy.
Dutch vaccine tests halted
Vaccine testing at Janssen labs in Leiden has come to a pause, after a study participant fell ill. Trials will not resume until more is known regarding the cause of the illness.
GGDs phase-out contact tracing
Due to the drastic rise in coronavirus infections in the Netherlands, GGDs have decided to phase out contact and source tracing. They announced today that they no longer have the capacity to call all those infected with the virus. Instead, call centres are beginning to take over the responsibility.
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