The number of new coronavirus cases in the Netherlands reached a record 35,521 on on Friday, but the figure was distorted by computer failures on Thursday, which meant not all positive tests were registered.
Nevertheless, the Friday total takes the average number of cases per day over the past week to 31,206 – a rise of 45% on the week earlier period.
The new record in infections comes as the government prepares to announce what measures it will relax from this weekend.
The government imposed the semi lockdown in the week before Christmas to allow the booster campaign to get up to speed, and head off the risk of a surge in hospitalisations.
Now, however, ministers accept the Omicron variant of coronavirus does not make people as sick as earlier versions, even though it is more infectious, paving the way for a relaxation of the rules.
The number of hospital patients continues to decline. In total, 108 people were admitted to hospital overnight, taking the total to 1,289, a reduction of 74 on Thursday’s figure.
Of them, 335 are being treated in an IC ward, down from 361 on Thursday. Just one IC patient remains in a German hospital.
The number of Covid patients on an ordinary ward has now dipped below 1,000 for the first time since November last year.
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