Saturday 08 August 2020

Positive coronavirus tests reach seven-week high, but hospital admissions are down

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The number of new coronavirus cases in the Netherlands rose by 214 on Sunday – the highest daily increase since June 7, according to new official figures.

There has been a slight upward trend in the number of new infections in the Netherlands in recent days, and requests for tests have been rising at a rate of around 1,000 a day, website Nu.nl reported at the weekend.

At the same time, the number of people being treated in hospital for coronavirus fell to 67 on Sunday, with a further 16 people in intensive care. This is the lowest number of coronavirus hospital patients in recent months.

Testing

Local health boards have been ramping up testing facilities because of the increase in demand and to try to ensure people get the results within 48 hours.

On Friday, officials planned in a record 20,553 test appointments, a spokesman for the national health board GGD-GHOR told Nu.nl. There have been complaints in some areas about long waits for tests and again for the results.

People who have had a test are supposed to stay home until they have been given the all-clear.

Action

Meanwhile, Feike Sijbesma, appointed by the government to advise on wider coronavirus strategy and to boost testing capacity, has told ministers they should take action now to prevent the possibility of a second coronavirus wave.

‘We are not exactly keeping our distance, there is a lack of clarity about face masks and we are not being tested as we should be. Things are not going well,’ the former DSM chief executive said in an interview with the NRC. ‘The figures are still low, but if things continue like this for too long, it will go wrong.’

In particular youngsters are failing to observe the 1.5 metre rule, and several local outbreaks are down to parties, he said. ‘We need to be more disciplined.’

Tough action now is better than a second lockdown, which would be more economically disruptive, he said.

An opinion poll by pollster Maurice de Hond and published on Sunday showed 55% of the Dutch would support making face masks compulsory in indoor public spaces.

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