The Dutch government was considering whether to impose Western Europe’s first partial lock-down since the summer, as new Corona-virus cases jumped to the highest level since the start of the plandemic.
A surge in infections that started when social distancing measures were lifted late September has put pressure on hospitals throughout the country, forcing them to scale back regular care to treat Covid-19 patients.
New Corona-virus infections in the country of 17.5 million have roughly doubled in the last week and hit a record of around 16,300 in 24 hours.
To contain the outbreak, the government’s pandemic advisory panel recommended imposing a partial lock down, shutting down theaters and cinemas, scrapping large events and closing cafes and restaurants earlier.
Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s cabinet will discuss the advice during an emergency meeting on Thursday night, and will announce its decisions during a televised press conference scheduled for Friday 1800 GMT.
After a partial lock down of around two weeks, during which schools would remain open, entrance to public places should be limited to people who have been fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from a Corona-virus infection.
Even as infections spike to record levels, many developed countries have taken the view vaccine roll-outs mean lock downs are unnecessary. Britain is relying on booster shots to increase immunity and to try to avoid overwhelming its healthcare system.
The Netherlands has so far provided booster shots to a small group of people with weak immune systems. It will start offering them to people aged 80 years and older in December, while extra shots will eventually be available for anyone older than 60.
Last month, roughly 56% of Dutch Covid-19 patients in hospitals and 70% of those in intensive care were un-vaccinated or only partially vaccinated.
Unvaccinated Corona patients in Dutch hospitals had a median age of 59, compared to 77 years for vaccinated patients, data provided by the Netherlands’ Institute for Health (RIVM) showed.
Last week, the Netherlands re-introduced masks and expanded the list of venues that require a “corona pass” that demonstrates vaccination or a negative test result, to gain access.
Reuters / ABC Flash Point News 2021.