Netherlands imposes partial lockdown to contain high Covid-19 cases

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The Netherlands will impose Western Europe’s first partial lockdown since the continent’s summer this weekend, in an attempt to curb the rise in Covid-19 cases, state agency NOS reported on Friday (12).

Bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses will be sentenced to close at 7pm for at least three weeks from this Saturday (13th).

People will be encouraged to work from home as much as possible and will not be allowed to attend sporting events in the coming weeks. However, schools, theaters and cinemas will remain open.

Interim Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s office will make a final decision on Friday, and will announce the new measures during a press conference.

New coronavirus infections in the country of 17.5 million people rose rapidly after social distancing measures were abandoned at the end of September and reached a daily record of 16,300 on Thursday (11).

The new wave of cases puts pressure on hospitals across the country, forcing them to back down from regular care again to treating patients with Covid-19.

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

A new lcodkwon would mean a drastic change in the policy of the Dutch government, which until last month considered that a relatively high vaccination rate would mean the suspension of further measures by the end of the year.

But it’s not the only country considering strict new actions as infections reach record levels. On Thursday, Austria said it was days away from imposing a lockdown on millions of unvaccinated people.

Many developed countries, however, are joining the view that immunization means that lockdowns are unnecessary, like the UK, for example, relying on booster doses to boost immunity.

About 85% of the Dutch adult population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. So far, the booster has only been offered to a small group of people with weak immune systems and will be offered to people aged 80 and over in December.

Last month, around 55% of patients in Dutch hospitals and 70% of those in ICUs were unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated, data provided by the Netherlands Institute of Health (RIVM) showed.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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