Over the past week, the RIVM has reported 94,864 new infections in the Netherlands. A decrease compared to last week’s number of 116,477 infections.
However, the percentage of positive tests went up slightly, rising to 23.9% compared to 23.4% from the week before.
The number of patients who have died from coronavirus-related complications has decreased. This week, 322 people passed away, compared to 445 people the previous week.
Both the number of admissions to the nursing ward and the ICU has gone down. The past week saw 1,335 new admissions to the nursing ward and 248 new patients in the ICU. The week before, there were 1,986 and 338 respectively.
Hard lockdown until January 14
A press conference last Saturday made it official — the Netherlands is going into a hard lockdown a mere five days before Christmas. Even though coronavirus infections have been dropping slightly for the past two weeks, the new Omicron variant is a looming threat on the horizon.
What exactly does the new lockdown entail?
- All non-essential stores (cafés, restaurants, retail etc.) are closed
- Essential stores (supermarket, pharmacies etc.) open until 8 PM
- Education institutions of all levels (from primary school to university) closed until January 14
- A maximum of two guests at home daily
- Four visitors at home allowed on Christmas Day (December 24)
- ‘Group’ size outdoors limited to two people (this does not apply for individuals from the same household)
- All indoor sports facilities such as gyms are closed, excluding recreational swimming lessons
- Children may train as part of their sports teams outside
- Adults may exercise in pairs outside from 5 AM to 5 PM
Phew, quite the extensive list. On January 3, the cabinet will meet again to discuss if schools should reopen by January 10.
Booster shots for everyone by January 7
Dutch health minister De Jonge has promised to amp up vaccine turn-out considerably and offer a booster shot to everyone by January 7.
This is an improvement from the previous position of the Dutch government, which claimed that a third jab appointment could only be made available to everyone by mid-March. At the same time, De Jonge dropped the bomb that by February 1, international vaccination certificates will be invalid without a booster shot.
This would have made international travel impossible for those not able to make an appointment before February. At least now, there is the tiniest chance for a skiing holiday this winter.
Vulnerable children invited for first jab
Starting yesterday, children aged five to eleven with underlying health conditions are eligible to receive their first coronavirus vaccination at GGD locations.
While children in this age group don’t tend to get very sick from coronavirus, certain medical conditions such as asthma, heart diseases or down syndrome increase the risk of developing harsh symptoms.
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