SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The number of new coronavirus cases in the Netherlands rose to an 11-week high on Saturday, with the largest number of positive cases – 431 – being reported since May 7.
Saturday’s total was also double that of a week ago. The figures come from data made public by the public health institute RIVM and reflect reported cases rather than the actual daily total.
Officials also say the increase in testing may help explain the rise. As in previous days, most cases are being reported in the Rotterdam region, with an overnight rise of 125.
There were also 67 new cases in the Amsterdam region but just five the in the three northern provinces. Some half of the new coronavirus patients are aged 20 to 40, with 40 to 60-year-olds accounting for most of the rest.
Officials earlier highlighted the rise in cases among the younger generations and research by RTL Nieuws on Saturday shows that one in three people under the age of 30 is not keeping their distance from others while out on the town.
Local health board officials have already closed three cafes in Amsterdam because of coronavirus – two because they were potential sources of clusters and one because a member of staff continued to work with symptoms.
At the same time, Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has written to student organisations urging them to act responsibly as the start of the new term nears.
City officials are particularly concerned that coronavirus may spread easily among students – and there has already been one cluster around a student event in the port city.
Meanwhile, several hundred people opposed to the government’s measures to combat Covid-19 held a demonstration in The Hague. There were two arrests, and police several times asked the organisers to tell the crowd to keep their distance from each other.
In the main, however, the atmosphere was calm and peaceful, broadcaster NOS said.