Another 3,280 coronavirus cases were reported by the public health agency RIVM on Monday, the lowest daily figure since October 1.
In recent days the rate of decline has accelerated to more than 18% week on week, prompting speculation that lockdown restrictions will start to be lifted in the second week of February.
However, the number of infections per 100,000 people is still around three times the ‘alert level’ of 7 that is supposed to trigger restrictions and all 25 health board regions are classed as ‘very severe’ on the government’s risk scale.
The number of patients in hospital with coronavirus increased by 61 to 2,290, following the pattern of higher hospital admissions after the weekend, while 639 people are being treated in intensive care, seven fewer than on Sunday.
Another 27 deaths from Covid-19 were reported on Monday, against a weekly average of 65. A week ago the average figure was 76. Infections in nursing homes are also declining: 647 locations reported at least one new case in the last 14 days, compared to 734 a week ago.
Around half of all infections are now caused by the B-117 strain, first detected in the UK, which arrived in the Netherlands in December. In a letter to parliament the cabinet said that the so-called ‘British variant’ was 49% more infectious than previous strains, with an R value of 1.27 in mid-January. If the reproductive marker is above 1 it signifies that the virus is spreading faster than people are recovering.
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