THE HAGUE, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The number of new COVID-19 infections in the Netherlands went past 200,000 in the first full week of January, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) said here on Tuesday.
With 201,536 new cases logged between Jan. 4 and Jan. 11, the weekly total exceeded 200,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic. It was a 77 percent week-on-week increase.
The jump is in line with expectations as the Omicron coronavirus variant is understood to spread faster than the previous variants. The number of positive tests was highest in the 18 to 29 age group. Hardly any increase has been observed in people aged 60 years and older.
Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized (also in intensive care units) with COVID-19 has been decreasing. This is in line with the fact that relatively few older people have tested positive in recent weeks.
Between Jan. 3 and Jan. 9,873 people were admitted to hospital, compared to 1,046 people a week earlier, and 143 people were admitted to intensive care, compared to 171 in the previous week.
The Netherlands has been in lockdown since Dec. 19, 2021. Only shops selling essential items, medical contact professionals and petrol stations are allowed to remain open. The hard lockdown lasts until Jan. 14.