AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government on Wednesday said it will consider whether it needs to take fresh action following a swift rise in new COVID-19 cases after the country’s pandemic lockdown ended.
“I think the sharp rise in infection numbers are a reason to request urgent advice from the outbreak management team”, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told reporters in The Hague.
The Netherlands lifted most lockdown measures on June 26, as cases were falling and around two-thirds of the population has received at least one vaccination shot.
However, with bars, restaurants, and nightclubs re-opened, new cases in the country doubled to 8,000 in the week ended Tuesday, July 6. On Wednesday health authorities reported 3,688 new cases for the previous 24-hour period.
Around three quarters of new cases are occurring among young people, De Jonge said. The Dutch government made vaccine available first to the elderly, and most young adults and teenagers have not yet had the opportunity to get a shot.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling, Editing by William Maclean)