The RIVM director of infectious disease control, Jaap van Dissel has officially referred to the rising coronavirus numbers as the beginning of the “second wave.” This follows a record-breaking increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the Netherlands. 

During a speech in the Lower House yesterday, Van Dissel was asked to explain the recent jump in coronavirus cases. In his explanation, Van Dissel finally made use of the term “second wave.”

What makes it a second wave?

When asked about why he uses the term “second wave,” Van Dissel told NOS journalists that there are a number of reasons as to why he uses the term.

Sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases

The first reason that Van Dissel gives is the sudden sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases that followed the plateau in recent months. This week alone has seen a record-breaking 13,471 new positive cases of coronavirus, a 60% increase from the previous week.

The rate of reproduction has been above one for a number of weeks. This has led to a nationwide spread of the virus. “It has spread from the west to the rest of the country. We also see fireplaces in Groningen, for example.”

Increase in hospital beds and ICU cases

Secondly, Van Dissel cites the increase in the number of hospital beds being made available to potential coronavirus patients. Hospitals are once again beginning to set up special units for coronavirus and patient numbers are increasing. The RIVM has reported 152 new corona hospitalisations this week.

The number of corona patients in ICU is also increasing. RTL Nieuws reports that there are currently 103 people in intensive care. This is slightly higher than the numbers in mid-March, which saw 95 people in the ICU.

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Van Dissel says, “we are at a tipping point.” Although, he does not believe that the number of ICU cases will increase as fast as they did in March. This is because doctors now know more about how to treat coronavirus. It also means that hospital stays should hopefully be shorter.

More elderly infections

Van Dissel has also noted that whilst the increase in coronavirus infections is highest in young people at the moment, he fears they will eventually pass it on to their elders. “After the young people come the older ones.” This would also lead to an increase in the number of hospitalisations.

Tighter restrictions

It is expected that restrictions will be tightened throughout high-risk regions. Rutte hinted at this in the parliamentary debate yesterday, saying that he expects eight more regions to be moved up to level 2 risk.

However, the Prime Minister did not name the eight regions. “You can assume that, as things look now, this week eight regions will be placed on the level where we put the six regions of last Friday.”

Last week, Rutte announced that six regions would be classified as a level 2 risk. The restrictions for these regions are as follows:

  • No more than 50 people can gather at an unorganised event,
  • Cafes and restaurants must be closed by 1 AM, and,
  • Children under the age of 12 no longer need to be tested for coronavirus.

However, the restrictions given have been criticised by certain members of the parliament who believe more must be done. For example, PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher asked, “Who really thinks that scrapping the last round in the pub will reverse this trend?”

How do you feel about the recent restrictions? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva

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