The RIVM has released its weekly coronavirus figures for the period of April 13 to April 20. The number of infections has risen compared to the previous week.
Over the past week, the RIVM reported 53,981 new infections in the Netherlands. This is an increase compared to the previous week’s number of 51,240 new infections. The percentage of positive tests went up to 10.1% compared to 9.6% the week before.
The number of patients who have died from COVID-19-related complications has gone down. This week 146 people passed away, compared to 174 people the previous week.
Hospitalisations, as well as the number of admissions to the ICU have decreased slightly. The past week saw 1,542 new admissions to the nursing ward and 379 new patients in the ICU. The week before, there were 1,752 and 390 respectively.
During the last press conference, the Dutch government introduced a new five-step road map towards a summer without coronavirus restrictions. Step one of this plan sees the lifting of the curfew and reopening of schools and terraces. The cabinet is hoping to introduce these relaxations as of April 28, sources claim.
All part of the plan
The Dutch government had already hinted at the possibility of reopening terraces earlier this month. Shortly after that, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that we may not see any relaxations until mid-May. However, now, the cabinet is feeling more hopeful about the road to recovery.
Following the new road map to reopening, the cabinet is looking to potentially abolish curfew after April 28. Many people are eagerly waiting to see the end of this measure — so much so that there have been numerous WhatsApp groups offering members “insurance” against the curfew fine.
If terraces are allowed to reopen, it will be under certain conditions, such as a maximum number of visitors and limited opening times. Customers may be able to shop without booking appointments in advance, and the number of visitors allowed in your home may increase from one to two.
King’s Day trial event creates backlash
The growing concern about the Netherlands’ trial events with tens of thousands of visitors has resulted in a petition against a King’s Day party in Breda. The petitioners called the event an “ill-considered pseudo-experiment” and a “slap in the face of the healthcare providers.” The petition was signed by over 300,000 people. Following this uproar, the municipality of Breda decided to cancel the event.
Thousands of sign-ups for trial holidays
Despite the sentiment around Dutch Fieldlab events, the government continues with trial holidays abroad, which have had a hugely popular uptake across the Netherlands. More than 45,000 people signed up for a trial holiday to Gran Canaria despite only 180 places being available.
However, negative travel advice until at least mid-May still applies to everyone else. In addition, a mandatory quarantine is being introduced from May 15 for all travellers coming to the Netherlands from high-risk countries.
Another bump in the road for Dutch vaccination strategy
The deliveries of the Janssen vaccine to the EU have been paused due to concerns about thrombosis. However, the number of cases so far appears to be lower than those reported after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Netherlands has ordered 11.3 million doses of the one-shot Janssen vaccine.
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