The RIVM has released its weekly coronavirus figures for the period of March 24 to March 30. The number of infections has risen again compared to the previous week.
According to the cabinet, the R rate has not dropped enough to reduce many coronavirus measures. However, the curfew will be pushed back to 10 PM starting from tomorrow evening.
New number of infections
Over the past week, the RIVM reported 51,866 new infections in the Netherlands. This is an increase compared to the previous week’s number of 46,005 new infections. The percentage of positive tests went up to 8.5% compared to 8.1% last week.
The number of patients who have died from COVID-19-related complications has gone down slightly. This week 171 people passed away, compared to 223 people the previous week.
Hospitalisations have increased, while the number of admissions to the ICU has decreased slightly. The past week saw 1,578 new admissions to the nursing ward and 317 new patients in the ICU. The week before, there were 1,513 and 321 respectively.
Curfew to start at 10 PM tomorrow
While not much has changed in terms of the current coronavirus restrictions, the Dutch government has shortened curfew by one hour, starting at 10 PM instead of 9 PM.
The decision to move the curfew is supported by the National Security Council of Mayors. With the clock jumping back an hour for Daylight Savings Time and the sun slowly creeping back to the Netherlands, the measure would become increasingly difficult to enforce.
Vaccination rate slower than hoped
Last week, the Dutch government had hoped to roll out 416,000 vaccinations, but less than 70% of these were given out. Vaccines are waiting and ready to go, but not as many people booked their appointments. Of 100,000 time slots for AstraZeneca vaccination appointments, only 36,000 were actually booked in the Netherlands.
This is in the wake of the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine being paused earlier this month. It’s believed that some people are still unsure about the vaccine because of its associations with blood clots. As it stands, the European Medical Agency (EMA) deems it safe after researching into side effects of the vaccine.
Patients also struggled with booking their appointments, many complaining of long waiting times when on the phone. The RIVM suggests that people book their appointments online when possible.
Reporters at large religious gatherings
On Sunday, two Dutch journalists were attacked while reporting on large church services. The Mieras Church and the Sion Church opened their doors to worshippers despite the rise in coronavirus infections. Arrests have been made in connection with the violence in Urk and Krimpen aan den IJssel.
Both churches have spoken out and said that the violence was “understandable”. A spokesman for the Sion Church said that the reporters were “worse than the SS.”
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