The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the Netherlands, despite strict insurance that is still in force there. Between Thursday morning and Friday morning, at least 34,954 positive results of corona tests were recorded, the highest daily number ever. This is the first time in the country that more than 25,000 new cases have been reported in a single day.
Read all about Corona Virus in this file.
On Thursday, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Dutch equivalent of the Sciensano Health Institute, announced about 24,700 positive tests. This was immediately the old record, but the number was lower due to a malfunction. Not all confirmed infections have been properly recorded. As a result, it was already known that Friday’s number would be higher.
See also: Corona measures in the Netherlands cause a massive influx of Dutch to Antwerp
The rapid increase was already expected. The omikron variant of the coronavirus is now more common in the Netherlands and has replaced the delta variant.
The new version of the virus is more contagious, but it could make people less sick. However, the new wave could also lead to more hospitalizations in a few weeks, experts fear, because the massive increase in infections means the strength of large numbers plays a role: although the percentage of people who have to go to Hospital after fewer infections than in the Delta, the wave of infections will lead to a significant increase in hospital admissions.
Fortunately, it hasn’t come to that yet. The number of corona patients in Dutch hospitals will continue to decline for the time being. The number of deaths is still not rising. A total of 141 deaths were reported in the past week, an average of about 20 per day. This is the lowest level since November 5.
I think we’ll soon conclude that the tough December close was a wise choice.
The average number of new infections is rising rapidly. In the past seven days, the institute has recorded a total of 150,409 new cases, with an average of 21,487 cases per day. This is the highest level since December 6. Last week’s total is about 63 percent higher than the sum of the previous seven days. This is the fastest weekly increase since July 18.
Because of Omicron’s rise, the Dutch government imposed very strict new restrictions last month. For example, non-essential shops and the catering industry are closed, at least until January 14th. Therefore, the Netherlands intervened much more actively than the intervention of neighboring countries. At a press conference next week, it will be clear whether the government will extend these measures.
After the last cabinet named ‘Chief Chef’, Dutch Minister Hugo de Jong (CDA) has already dampened expectations over next week’s lockdown decision on Friday.
“I think we will soon conclude that a strict lockdown in December was the wise choice,” de Jong said after the meeting. “In countries where the rules were less strict, such as France and the UK for example, they now face a number of hospitalizations, which translates to our situation, four times higher than they are now. In the Netherlands you will have 600 new patients with corona per day. Healthcare can’t handle that at all.” Compared to our country, our northern neighbors have half the number of beds in intensive care.
De Jonge did not want to anticipate the decision, but stated that caution is required. “A large number of infections will increase the number of patients, but you do not know exactly how many. It is different from previous waves, there is uncertainty. So you have to look carefully at what is possible.”
A source within the Dutch outbreak management team, similar to our GEMS group of experts, also stated after a consultation on Friday morning that the picture is not simple, with the number of infections rising on one hand and reports of the less disgusting omikron variant on the other. Experts will need the coming days to get a better picture of all the data, so that sound advice can be given to the Cabinet on Wednesday.
In the meantime, the Netherlands is committed to strengthening, and it shows. The country is making rapid progress in arranging support campaigns in Europe. Nearly 40 percent of all adults now have a third chance in the Netherlands, which is good for a twelfth place. In recent days, Norway and Portugal, among others, have been surpassed. Belgium is in sixth place on the list.
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