THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch public health institute on Thursday announced the highest daily number of new COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, as the government reportedly considered a limited lockdown to curb emerging infections.
The institute said it recorded 16,364 new positive tests in the 24 hours to 10 a.m., an increase of 3,688 from the previous day.
The rising number of cases in this country of 17.5 million comes despite more than 84% of the Dutch adult population being fully vaccinated.
Earlier Thursday, neighboring Germany also registered a daily record number of positive cases. The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s national center for disease control, registered 50,196 new cases, up from 33,949 daily cases a week earlier.
Hospitals in the southern province of Limburg, the worst affected region in the Netherlands, sounded the alarm in a letter to the Ministry of Health earlier this week: “We are heading straight for a healthcare blockade and the entire system comes to a standstill. ”
They added: “We are confident that other parts of the Netherlands will soon follow.”
The outgoing Dutch government has reintroduced the use of face masks in shops and other public locations this weekend and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will hold a national press conference on Friday evening to discuss possible new measures.
Dutch media reported on Thursday that a panel of experts has advised the government to reintroduce some lockdown measures for two weeks in an effort to slow the number of infections. The panel’s opinion was not immediately made public.
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