The number of new coronavirus infections almost doubled in the third week of July, according to latest figures from the public health agency RIVM.
A total of 987 new cases were recorded between July 15 and July 21, an 85% increase on the previous week’s figure of 534.
The Rt number, which represents the reproduction rate of the virus, rose to 1.29, the first time since March that it has been higher than 1. An Rt rate of more than 1 means each patient is infecting more than 1 other person and the total number of cases is rising.
Another 19 patients were admitted to hospital, twice as many as a week ago, while seven more deaths were recorded. Officially 6,136 people have died of Covid-19 since the outbreak began.
Aura Timen of the National Co-ordination Centre for Infectious Disease Control, said: ‘If we go on like this the virus could beat us. This is a wake-up call: we can’t just carry on.
‘We’ve suppressed this virus together by keeping to the rules well. We need to go back to that behaviour.’
The increase in cases is partly explained by more people taking coronavirus tests – up from 75,000 to nearly 90,000 in the last week – but the positive test rate has also gone up by two-thirds from 0.6% to 1.0%.
Around the regions the biggest increases were in Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland, while Zeeland also saw a relatively large rise. In the northern provinces of Groningen, Drenthe, Friesland and Flevoland coronavirus cases remain extremely low.
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