SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – New coronavirus cases in the Netherlands reached their highest level for almost two weeks on Thursday as 9,737 new positive tests were recorded by the public health agency RIVM.
The figure was more than 2,000 higher than the average for the last seven days, which stands at around 7,700. The last time so many cases were reported was on December 26. Another 231 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital, but the total number fell by 71 to 2,764.
Of these 712 are receiving treatment in intensive care, an increase of eight since Wednesday. The figures will increase the pressure on the cabinet to extend the national lockdown beyond January 19, as ministers have said that the rules can only be relaxed once the number of patients being admitted to intensive care per day falls to around 10.
On Thursday 29 people were admitted or transferred to an ICU. Sources told NOS on Wednesday that schools, restaurants, bars and shops were likely to remain closed until the end of January and more places could be shut in an attempt to bring the numbers down.
The cabinet is due to make a decision next Tuesday after consulting the Outbreak Management Team.