Netherlands imposes partial lockdown to stop COVID-19 wave – media – Community News

Netherlands imposes partial lockdown to stop COVID-19 wave – media

AMSTERDAM, Nov. 12 (Reuters) – The Netherlands will impose its first partial lockdown on Western Europe since the summer this weekend, in a bid to halt a wave of COVID-19 cases, Dutch broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

Bars, restaurants and non-essential shops must close at 7 p.m. Saturday for at least three weeks, NOS said, citing government sources.

People are being urged to work from home as much as possible and no public will be allowed at sporting events in the coming weeks. Schools, theaters and cinemas would remain open.

The cabinet of interim Prime Minister Mark Rutte will make a final decision later on Friday, announcing the new measures during a televised press conference scheduled for 1800 GMT.

New coronavirus infections in the country of 17.5 million have increased rapidly after social distancing measures were scrapped in late September, reaching a record high of about 16,300 in 24 hours on Thursday. read more

The new wave of infections has put pressure on hospitals across the country, forcing them to again phase out mainstream care to treat COVID-19 patients. read more

To contain the outbreak, the government’s pandemic advisory panel on Thursday recommended imposing a partial lockdown and limiting access to public places to people who have been fully vaccinated or who have recently recovered from a coronavirus infection.

A new lockdown would mean a drastic policy reversal for the Dutch government, which until last month thought a relatively high vaccination rate would mean it could further relax measures towards the end of the year.

But it is not alone in considering strict measures as the number of infections rises to record levels. Austria said Thursday it is days away from detaining millions of unvaccinated people. read more

However, many developed countries are holding on to the view that vaccine rollouts mean no lockdowns are necessary, with Britain, for example, relying on booster shots to boost immunity.

About 85% of the adult Dutch population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Booster shots have so far only been provided to a small group of people with weak immune systems and will be offered to people 80 and older in December.

Last month, about 55% of patients in Dutch hospitals and 70% of patients in intensive care were not or only partially vaccinated, according to data from the RIVM.

Report by Bart Meijer; Edited by Lincoln Feast.

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