Ministers to meet on Sunday as coronavirus cases continue to rise


Ministers are meeting at the prime minister’s official residence on Sunday to discuss the continuing rise in the number of positive coronavirus tests.

On Saturday, the RIVM said 9182 new cases had been registered, the highest total since November 1. Prime minister Mark Rutte warned last week that new measures will be imposed unless the infection rate comes down.

No meeting had been planned for this weekend but given the rise in cases overnight, a new meeting has been scheduled in, broadcaster NOS reported. Government health advisors have also been invited.

Rutte may also hold an extra press conference on Tuesday, NOS said. The next had been scheduled for the week before Christmas.

Sources in The Hague told NOS that closing museums and zoos may be on the cards again. They were forced to shut for two weeks in November.

Measures to combat crowds in the high streets may also be on the table. Last week, experts from the public health institute RIVM suggested the current rise in cases may be linked to the Black Friday sales when some high streets were so busy local mayors ordered shops to close early.

Hospital cases

The number of hospital and intensive care patients is also rising. By Saturday, 1,723 people were hospitalized with coronavirus, a rise of 42 on Friday. Of them, 481 are intensive care, an increase of nine in 24 hours.

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