Staggering coronavirus numbers were announced today by the RIVM, with 82,340 new infections in the past week. This is up from 58,412 the previous week.
Hospitalizations are also climbing, with 1,549 admitted this week compared to 1,326 from the week before. In addition to this, 287 people went into ICU this past week, compared to 230 the previous week.
The death rate is also increasing, as 472 passed away from the coronavirus this week, up from 398.
In case you missed anything, here’s a quick recap of the biggest corona stories from the week:
New strands and flight bans
A new strand of the coronavirus has been detected in some countries, resulting in travel bans from the UK and South Africa to the Netherlands this week. Repatriation flights will not be taking place, and Dutch citizens stuck abroad have been advised to find safe accommodation. For now, only medical personnel are exempt from the ban.
All planned Dutch hospital care temporarily suspended
Due to the overwhelming pressure on the health system, which is expected to peak in January, all planned hospital and independent clinic care will be suspended for the time being. This will free up medical workers to attend coronavirus patients in the hospitals. Additional ICU beds are being set up, and in the case that no Dutch beds are available, patients will be sent to Germany.
Dutch vaccination plan lagging behind
Vaccinations in Germany will begin the day after Christmas, but the Dutch will have to wait until January for their shots. But criticisms have arisen of the hesitant and slow decision making by the Dutch government. Hanco Jürgens of the German Institute of the University of Amsterdam commented that he believes the Netherlands will only really be ready for mass vaccination by March.
While the Netherlands lag behind their neighbours regarding vaccination strategies, systems for tracking vaccinations are also only expected to be ready around March. The Dutch government plan to link vaccinations to DigiD accounts. A downloadable vaccination certificate will be available for you once you log in. But, as mentioned, this system is only expected to be ready three months after the first vaccinations in the Netherlands.
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