AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – New coronavirus cases in the Netherlands increased for a seventh consecutive week, health authorities said on Tuesday, despite the county’s lockdown and social distancing rules aimed at curbing the virus’ spread.
New cases climbed by 13% to 51,866, the National Institute for Health (RIVM) said in its weekly review, the highest level since early January.
More cases were seen in every age category, but there was only a 5% increase in cases in people above the age of 80, which the RIVM attributed to the country’s vaccine rollout.
According to RIVM data, 2.4 million first and second vaccine doses combined have been administered among a population of 17.3 million, with the oldest being given shots first by Dutch policy.
Bans on public gatherings of more than 2 people and an evening curfew have been in place since Jan. 23.
The agency, which expects cases to peak in late April before declining as vaccination levels increase, called on the public to respect social distancing and other measures amid spring weather.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Bernadette Baum)