Saturday 26 September 2020

Dutch new coronavirus infections top 1,000 for first time since mid April

The Q&A session was relayed live via YouTube

A further 1,140 coronavirus cases were registered with the public health institute RIVM in the 24 hours to 10am on Wednesday, health minister Hugo de Jonge said in a Facebook Q&A discussion about the virus.

‘The figures are going up and today’s total is much higher than yesterday and the day before,’ De Jonge said. ‘This is the highest figure for months.’ In fact, the last time the number of daily infections topped 1,000 was in mid April, at the height of the pandemic.

‘We are not moving in the right direction and there is every reason to be concerned, particularly in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam,’ De Jonge said. This could mean that extra measures are introduced in the country’s three biggest cities, the minister said.

De Jonge and prime minister Mark Rutte answered questions from members of the public for around an hour live on YouTube.

The government’s current strategy to combat the spread of the virus involves giving more power to local mayors to take unilateral action. Amsterdam and Rotterdam have also experimented with using facemasks, but have since dropped the requirement.

The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands has been rising steadily since early July although hospital admissions and deaths have not risen with the same speed.

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