The RIVM has released its weekly coronavirus figures for the period of April 7 to April 13. The number of infections has risen compared to the previous week.
With the number of infections slowly rising again, the RIVM predicts that the peak of the third wave in the Netherlands will come earlier than initially expected but has not yet been hit.
The Dutch cabinet was hoping to announce some easing of coronavirus restrictions in tonight’s press conference including opening terraces. However, on Sunday it announced these measures will not be eased until at least April 28. The only exception is after school care which will be opened on Monday.
New number of infections
Over the past week, the RIVM reported 51,240 new infections in the Netherlands. This is an increase compared to the previous week’s number of 48,186 new infections. The percentage of positive tests went up 9.6% compared to 8.9%% last week.
The number of patients who have died from COVID-19-related complications has gone up. This week 174 people passed away, compared to 142 people the previous week.
Hospitalisations have decreased slightly while the number of admissions to the ICU has increased slightly. The past week saw 1,700 new admissions to the nursing ward and 386 new patients in the ICU. The week before, there were 1,724 and 381 respectively.
In the midst of the confusion over the AstraZeneca vaccine, forty percent of people over the age of 60 in the Netherlands have said they don’t want it. This is after the outgoing cabinet decided to pause the rollout of the vaccine to those under the age of 60 over fears of links to thrombosis.
Despite this fluctuation in policy, Health Minister De Jonge has said that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has issued the same message. Currently, the risk of having any side effects from the vaccine and dying from coronavirus is similar amongst young women in the Netherlands — this is lower than the risk of thrombosis from hormonal birth control.
Terraces and shops stay closed
Despite last week suggesting that there was a plan to open terraces and shops as of April 21, the cabinet has since said that this will not be possible. After hospitals said that they were baffled by these plans, the Dutch cabinet has decided that figures don’t currently support this move.
The cabinet is postponing these plans until April 28, providing the R rate is low enough to permit the easing of measures. Mayors of four major cities in the Netherlands have made an urgent appeal to the government to open terraces saying enforcing current measures is becoming impossible.
After school care to open next week
After school care will be fully open again from Monday, April 19, onwards. The decision was made by the cabinet this morning, according to insider sources in The Hague. To ensure the safety of children and teachers, the same rules will apply for after school care as for primary schools which had already opened two months ago.
Children will not be required to distance themselves from each other, but teachers will have to distance themselves from children. If anyone tests positive for coronavirus, the whole class will have to quarantine.
Planned attack on vaccination centre
Last week, Dutch police arrested a man in connection with a planned bombing of a coronavirus vaccination site. The 37-year-old man allegedly wanted to plant the bomb at the former city hall of Den Helder where vaccinations are currently being administered. The police have regarded this as an act of terrorism.
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