The RIVM has released its weekly coronavirus figures for the period of March 17 to March 23. The number of infections has risen again compared to the previous week.
In the light of these figures, the hopes for some relaxation after March 31 are off the table. The coronavirus measures that are currently in place in the Netherlands will most likely remain. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge will announce this in a press conference tonight.
New number of infections
Over the past week, the RIVM reported 46,005 new infections in the Netherlands. This is an increase compared to the previous week’s number of 39,527 new infections. The percentage of positive tests went up to 8.1% compared to 7.6% last week.
The number of patients who have died from COVID-19-related complications has also gone up. This week 223 people passed away, compared to 204 people the previous week.
Similarly, hospitalisations, as well as the number of admissions to the ICU have both increased. The past week saw 1,441 new admissions to the nursing ward and 313 new patients in the ICU. The week before, there were 1,327 and 274 respectively.
The Dutch government remains concerned as hospitals are close to overflowing. Code black was on the cards last week for the province of North Holland.
Curfew likely to start at 10 PM
While not much is expected to change in terms of the current coronavirus restrictions, the Dutch government is seriously considering shortening 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.
AstraZeneca vaccines resumed
The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport decided to resume AstraZeneca vaccines in the Netherlands. The decision came after the European Medical Agency (EMA) found that the chances of serious side effects are very small.
The rollout of the vaccine had been previously paused in the country due to concerns over the increased risk of blood clots.
Negative travel advice to be extended
The Dutch government is planning to extend the negative travel advice until May 15. Up until that date, residents of the Netherlands are strongly advised not to leave the country unless absolutely necessary.
At the March 8 press conference, the prime minister had hoped to introduce separate travel advice for the May holiday.
In the meantime, event organizers in the Netherlands have been given the green light to start planning parties, concerts, and more after July 1.
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