COVID-19 cases are steadily on the rise. The RIVM reported 67,542 new coronavirus infections this week, up from 55,587 the previous week. 

Meanwhile, nursing wards across the country admitted an additional 1,739 patients. This is higher than the 1,492 patients hospitalized the week before.

Of those in hospital, 333 are in ICU, which again is higher than the previous week’s 287.

Those who passed away this week from the coronavirus amounts to 329, significantly more than the 185 who died from the virus the week before.

Hospitals reach full capacity

Mayors across the country are calling for stricter measures, as many hospitals and departments reach full capacity. Coronavirus patients are being turned away from wards, such as at Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Dordrecht.

On Friday evening, the emergency department in The Hague was forced to temporarily close. The mayors, who see the situation as unacceptable, will meet tonight to further discuss the situation.

“Draconian measures” on the cards

There’s a chance the mayors will get what they want, as Prime Minister Rutte and Health Minister De Jonge have warned that “draconian measures” may come if people do not take the current measures seriously.

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This could mean no house visits at all, a curfew, and no more than two people would be able to go out together in public. Whether such measures will be implemented should be clarified in later in the week.

Party of 300 shut down by police

Rutte’s warning appears to have been necessary. This past week, police found more than 300 people partying at a construction site. Only two people were arrested, including a DJ who reportedly kicked the officers. However, police had no power to enforce disciplinary action on the partygoers, despite none of the corona measures being upheld, so most of them left with no consequences.

New rapid test streets

Dutch COVID-19 testing capabilities are expected to expand in the next few weeks, as seven new test streets are being put in place. These sights will be built, run and safeguarded by soldiers. Rapid tests which yield results within a minute will be used, cutting down waiting times dramatically.

Be sure to check back with us at 7 PM for our Live Blog coverage of tonight’s press conference.

Feature Image: ©ibigfish from Getty Images/Canva.com

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