The RIVM has released its weekly coronavirus figures for the period of February 17 to February 23. The number of infections has risen slightly compared to the previous week.
The curfew which has been in place in the Netherlands since January 23 is likely to stay for an additional three weeks after March 2. According to insiders, some other measures may be relaxed.
The official measures will be announced by the outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge at a press conference tonight. More updates will follow.
New number of infections
Over the past week, the RIVM reported 29,977 new infections in the Netherlands. This is an increase of almost 19% compared to the previous week’s number of 25,229 new infections.
The number of patients who have died from COVID-19-related complications has slightly decreased. This week 418 people passed away, compared to 423 people the previous week.
Hospitalisations are going down, however, the number of admissions to the ICU has gone up. The past week saw 1,140 new admissions to the nursing ward and 240 new patients in the ICU. The week before, there were 1,197 and 194, respectively.
The Dutch government remains concerned over the new variants of coronavirus as well as the third wave of infections, and as such, strict measures are likely to remain in place in the Netherlands even after March 2.
As of February 23, more than a million people in the Netherlands received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccination.
We are starting to see the effect of the national vaccination program in Dutch nursing homes, where the number of positive tests among residents and employees is significantly dropping.
In other coronavirus-related news, here is a quick overview of what happened over the past week.
Uncertainty around the curfew
Last week on Tuesday, a judge of a court case in The Hague ruled that the curfew that is currently in place in the Netherlands should be lifted immediately. This decision was challenged by the government and was further discussed at a substantive hearing last Friday.
The Court of Appeal is now still discussing the case. The final decision is to be made on Friday, February 26. In the meantime, both the House of Representatives, as well as the Senate passed the curfew emergency law. For now, the curfew thus remains in place and is likely to stay for an additional three weeks after March 2.
Nasal spray to combat coronavirus
A team of Dutch virologists has developed a nasal spray that could protect you against coronavirus for up to 24 hours. The spray could be used while traveling or attending large public events. Alternatively, it could be used when visiting relatives and friends who are currently infected by the virus.
Tuition fees to be halved
Meanwhile, the Dutch cabinet has decided to reduce student tuition fees by half. This measure aims to address the effect that coronavirus has had on higher education. The decision is part of the government’s wider strategy to assist all areas of education impacted by the virus.
Large gatherings in Amsterdam
As the spring weather is inviting us to spend more time outside, hundreds of people gathered in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark and Museumplein last weekend to protest against the current coronavirus measures. The police were forced to intervene to disperse the crowds.
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Feature Image: August de Richelieu/Pexels