SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The coronavirus risk level over the entire country was raised to ‘concern’ on Wednesday, following a surge in new cases over the past week.
Last month the government agreed to phase out the regional risk levels and work on national system. The new system has three risk levels, caution, concern and serious, and is based on seven-day hospital admission averages and intensive care admissions.
The number of positive tests per 100,000 people is no longer an issue because the regional variations have been scrapped. On Wednesday, the public health institute RIVM reported 3,746 new cases overnight, up 843 on Tuesday and the highest number since July 27.
The number of positive tests are generally higher on Wednesday and Thursday because of the weekend effect. Nevertheless, Wednesday’s rise takes the average number of cases over the past seven days to 2,806, a rise of 62% on the week earlier period.
Microbiologist Marc Bonten, who is a member of the government’s coronavirus advice team, told RTL that it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine what is behind the rise in positive tests.
‘The vaccination rate is not spread evenly over the country and there is still a large group of people who won’t get tested or be vaccinated,’ he said. Hospital admissions have also risen slightly for the fifth day in a row and there are now 524 people being treated for coronavirus in hospital.
Of them, 95% are unvaccinated, Bonten said. The RIVM said on Tuesday that the expected autumn increase in positive cases has now set in.