Weekly update: Dutch infections dropping but over 66% of new cases more contagious variant

The RIVM has released its weekly figures for the period of January 27 to February 2. We’ve only seen the number of new infections drop slightly, but it’s enough that the government believes it will soon be possible to start lifting restrictions.

Over the past week, 28,628 new infections have been reported in the Netherlands. This is fewer than the previous week’s 35,635 new infections.

Hospitalisations are also down, though admissions to the ICU are up slightly. The past week saw 1,216 new admissions to the nursing ward and 254 new patients in the ICU. The week before, there were 1,382 and 244, respectively.

The number of patients who have died from COVID-19-related complications has also fallen slightly. This week 448 people passed away, compared to 512 people the previous week.

There have been several other developments on the coronavirus front over the past week. In case you missed anything, here’s a quick recap:

Two-thirds of new Dutch infections are B.1.1.7 strain

The more contagious B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the UK has now be revealed to be responsible for two-thirds of the new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands.

This was shared in a letter from the cabinet to the Lower House, which described the strain as having a 65% higher rate of reproduction than the original strain.

Primary schools and childcare to reopen February 8

The cabinet has decided to reopen schools and childcare on February 8. The decision was made under the consultation of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), the majority of whom are in agreement.

However, the knowledge that the B.1.1.7 strain is has become so prevalent has some experts saying it’s too early to start easing restrictions.

Dutch shops could open for pickup next week

The government is also discussing the possibility of reopening shops as early as next week, but for pickup only. If approved, the change would take place on February 8.

Still, it would only be possible to make orders online or by phone.

The Netherlands on track to end curfew by February 10

When the curfew was implemented on January 23, it was set to expire on February 10, provided infections continued to drop. According to sources in The Hague, it’s now looking like this will be possible.

The cabinet will announce its plans regarding all of these measures in a press conference tonight, which we’ll be covering via our live blog — be sure to check back in at 7 PM.

Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva

Brin Andrews
Brin Andrewshttp://brinandrews.com
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.

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