The strong fluctuations in new coronavirus registrations continued on Friday, when figures published by the public health institute RIVM listed 5,790 overnight positive tests.
That is 1,292 up on Thursday, which itself was almost 500 down on Wednesday’s figure.
Ministers have already said they are concerned the stagnating fall of the number of new cases will not make it possible to relax the social distancing rules for the Christmas break.
And the cabinet has now agreed to look into extending the school holidays by a week to try to stop the spread of coronavirus among teenagers, broadcaster NOS reported on Friday.
Prime minister Mark Rutte told his weekly press conference that the way the figures look at the moment, it would not be sensible to relax the rules for the holiday break. ‘But we do not have to take a decision yet,’ he said. ‘We will take that decision by December 8.’
Despite lack of real change in the number of new infections, fewer people were admitted to hospital and the number of new intensive care cases was down 10 on Thursday at 23. There are now 1,769 people being treated in hospital, of whom 518 are in intensive care wards.
The excess death rate, which gives an indication of how many people may have died from coronavirus without being diagnosed, was 364 in the past week – around 40% of the previous week’s figure.
The RIVM recorded 84 coronavirus-related deaths in the 24 hours to Friday morning, taking the average over the past week to 64. This is down marginally on the previous week’s average.
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