The RIVM has released its weekly coronavirus figures from May 12 to May 18. The number of infections has dropped compared to the previous week.
Over the past week, the RIVM reported 35,142 new infections in the Netherlands. This is a decrease compared to the previous week’s number of 47,108 new infections. The percentage of positive tests went up to 12.2% compared to 12.3% the week before.
The number of patients who have died from COVID-19-related complications has gone down. This week 90 people passed away, compared to 164 people the previous week.
Hospitalisations, as well as the number of admissions to the ICU, have decreased. The past week saw 1,152 new admissions to the nursing ward and 239 new patients in the ICU. The week before, there were 1,458 and 313 respectively. This is a drop of over 20% — a number that was required for the government to allow further relaxations.
Relaxations as of tomorrow
The next set of relaxations will come into effect tomorrow, May 19. These include extended opening hours for terraces, from 6 AM until 8 PM. In addition, zoos, amusement parks, and performing arts venues will be allowed to reopen in open-air environments.
More relaxations will also be introduced for indoor locations for artistic and cultural activities, as well as sports — adults will be able to exercise outside in a team, and gyms will reopen with appointment slots.
Huge demand for leftover vaccines
Since Prullenbakvaccin.nl — a website that lets you know where you can find sites with leftover vaccines — launched last week, it has been inundated with traffic. It received over one million visits in the first few days, and hundreds of people queued at the first registered locations.
The first GP surgery to be registered received so many calls on the first day that the developers had to restrict the number of sites and their details. Now you can only see GPs surgeries with leftover vaccines within 20 km of your location. Some Dutch doctors expressed that they weren’t concerned by the high traffic as it demonstrates just how many people in the Netherlands want to be vaccinated.
Paying for PCR tests
Despite the EU Commission proposing that PCR coronavirus tests needed before you travel should be free, the Netherlands disagrees. Going on holiday has been possible since Saturday, and anyone jet setting has to complete a PCR test before travelling. Currently, a commercial PCR test can often set you back over €100.
However, the Netherlands will not have the power to veto the decision of the EU. If the majority of the EU member states vote in favour of free PCR testing, the Netherlands will have to follow suit.
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Feature Image: Daiga Ellaby/Unsplash