The RIVM has reported 37,706 new cases of coronavirus in the past week. This is almost 6,000 less than last week’s numbers. Hospital admissions and deaths are also down.
As the Netherlands comes to an end of the latest coronavirus measures, the effects can be seen. The question is whether measures will continue throughout Christmas.
The number of people hospitalised due to coronavirus has dropped slightly this week. There were 1,496 new admissions to nursing wards this week compared to 1520 last week. The ICU also saw a slight drop in numbers with 224 new patients compared to 275 last week.
The number of deaths remains high however it has decreased by almost 100. This week, 479 people passed away from coronavirus. Last week saw 565 deaths.
The past week saw two new vaccines emerge with promising results. The Pfizer vaccine, with an effective rate of 90%, could be ready for distribution in EU countries by December. The Dutch government have ordered 8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. A few days later, Moderna announced that their vaccine had proven 94.5% effective, which could potentially arrive to the Netherlands ready for use by January.
Dutch vaccine strategy
The Dutch Ministry of Health will be announcing their vaccine strategy for the Netherlands later this month. They intend to begin vaccinations in December, but this is dependent on when the vaccines arrive. It is expected that the elderly, vulnerable groups and health care workers will be vaccinated first. But vaccinating the whole Dutch population could take over a year, according to Hans van Vliet, manager of the National Immunization Program of the RIVM.
Different rules for those unvaccinated
Health Minister De Jonge has expressed that there may be different measures in place for those who have not yet been vaccinated, once the vaccination programme is in place. But details like this are yet to be decided upon. The vaccine strategy will also depend on which vaccines become available first, and how many vaccines the Netherlands has access to.
Face mask mandate
In the meantime, cabinet have been working on a corona law which will make wearing facemasks in indoor public spaces obligatory. Anyone caught breaking this rule will be fined €95 but will receive no criminal record. The law is expected to be implemented from December 1st.
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