Thursday December 09, 2021

Dutch gov't mulls new measures to tackle rising COVID-19 infections

Published : 26 Oct 2021, 02:08

  DF News Desk

A customer gets a haircut at a hair salon in Haarlem, the Netherlands, May 11, 2020. File Photo Xinhua.

The Dutch government is considering new measures to reduce the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the country, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said on Monday, reported Xinhua.

"It is just going too fast," De Jonge told national broadcaster NOS after a meeting with the cabinet. "We will have to face the fact that the figures are rising faster and earlier than expected."

The government relaxed the COVID-19 restrictive measures by the end of September. For example, the mandatory 1.5-meter social distancing rule was replaced with urgent advice to keep a distance. Infections have been rising again since then and hospitals have received more COVID-19 patients.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) reported 5,331 new infections from Sunday to Monday, around 1,000 fewer than the day before. However, the numbers still rise rapidly in general, with the weekly average increasing to 5,272 per day.

The government will explain what measures will be taken to reduce the infections at a press conference on Nov. 2. The press conference was previously scheduled for Nov. 5, but experts advised the cabinet to intervene earlier.

New meetings are also planned this week. The question is whether regional or national measures will be taken and how to handle the difference between unvaccinated and vaccinated people.

"These are very complicated dilemmas," De Jonge said. "Four out of five people who are now in ICUs have not been vaccinated."

The latest figures show that 87.1 percent of the adult population in the Netherlands have received at least one vaccine dose, and 83.5 percent are fully vaccinated.