Dutch town has a positive coronavirus test rate six times the national average

The North Brabant city of Bergen op Zoom has had more than 14% of coronavirus tests from the past week return positive. The national average is 2.3%, according to RIVM. 

The tests in the city were conducted between August 1-9. “The figures are substantial given the national average,” Bergen op Zoom Mayor, Frank Petter, told NOS. The national average is expected to increase to around 3.5% this week.

Why is the infection rate so high?

Bergen op Zoom sits close to the Belgian border, resulting in an influx of day-trippers looking to shop. “I would like to say to the Belgians: you are more than welcome to shop or have a bite to eat, but not now,” says Petter.

The mayor will discuss a potential face mask requirement on Thursday. The town is also implementing extra checks on catering, supermarkets, and garden centres in the near future.

Outbreak at a mosque

Additionally, one test street next to El-Feth mosque recorded 53 positive infections out of 452 total tests — an infection rate of almost 12%. Approximately half of the 139 infections in Bergen op Zoom are people from the Moroccan-Dutch community.

Petter then makes a link between the Eid-ul-Adha Muslim holiday celebrations and the mosque. Najib el Allouchi, of the El-Feth mosque, told Omroep Brabant the test results were “a wake-up call.”

“Not just for us, but for the whole city. We shouldn’t think that Corona is on vacation,” he says.

Follow DutchReview on Facebook for more information about coronavirus in the Netherlands.

Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva

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Samantha Dixon
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

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