Sun, 05 Dec 2021

THE HAGUE, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Netherlands recorded a 44 percent jump in new COVID-19 cases in the past week, taking the weekly total to 25,751, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) said on Tuesday.

Increase was observed in all regions and all age groups but it occurred mostly among people under the age of 50, where the vaccination rate is the lowest. The COVID-19-related death toll was 48 last week, compared to 24 a week earlier.

The number of new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital rose to 385 last week, up from 281 the week before. Intensive care unit (ICU) admissions increased from 71 to 81, up 14 percent.

Most of those hospitalized with COVID-19 have not been vaccinated, and the same applies to four in five COVID-19 patients in ICU, the RIVM said.

The increase in the number of new COVID-19 infections appears to be related to the relaxation of social distancing rules three weeks ago and to the seasonal effect, it said.

The RIVM said that 83.5 percent of all Dutch adults have already been fully vaccinated.

The Dutch government updated its COVID-19 measures on Sept. 5, lifting almost all social distancing restrictions in the country.

A "COVID pass," which was introduced as proof of vaccination, is now required for admission to bars, restaurants and other social and cultural venues.

The wearing of face masks remains mandatory on public transport but is no longer required in schools. The 1.5-meter social distancing rule in public places was also dropped.

The Netherlands reported its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Feb. 27, 2020. Since then, the cumulative total of confirmed cases has reached 2,047,711 with 18,248 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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