R rate shrinks, fewer positive tests: has the corner been turned?

 relax the rules for European travel

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The number of positive coronavirus tests in the Netherlands almost halved last week to 37,343 when compared with the week-earlier period, public health institute RIVM said on Tuesday in its latest weekly update.

The decline also took the R, or reproduction rate, to 0.8, compared with 1.75 a week ago, the RIVM said. The percentage of positive tests has also gone down from 15.4% last week to 13.5%.

Some 11% of those testing positive for coronavirus had been fully vaccinated, the RIVM said. Over 20 million vaccine doses have now been given in the Netherlands and almost 60% of adults are fully vaccinated.

According to the government’s Outbreak Management Team advisors, the RIVM also expects the maximum number of intensive care patients suffering from coronavirus to be around 250 in the coming weeks.

However, this estimate is based in infection rates continuing to decline, the RIVM said. There are currently around 160 coronavirus patients in intensive care, compared with 840 in early April.

At the same time, a total of 538 people were admitted to hospital in the past seven days, double the previous week’s figure. Of them, 180 were admitted on Monday.

Travel

Broadcaster NOS reports that the cabinet’s decision to relax the rules for European travel on Monday went against the OMT’s own recommendations.

The OMT would have preferred to keep the tougher rules until September, to head of the risk of people bringing infections back from their summer holidays, but has, nevertheless, described the government decision as responsible, NOS said.

However, the government has said that everyone returning from holiday elsewhere within the EU, whether vaccinated or not, should take a test on their return.

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