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The number of positive coronavirus tests in the Netherlands has gone up 48% in the past week, hitting nearly 18,000, public health institute RIVM said in its weekly Tuesday update. The number of tests taken has gone up, but were outstripped by the number of positive results, the RIVM said. Most new infections are in the under-50s. ‘The expected autumn rise in coronavirus cases would appear to have started,’ the RIVM said. More coronavirus has also been identified through waste water analysis and more people are also reporting coronavirus-like symptoms. There has also been an increase in the number of hospital admissions. Last week, 335 people were admitted to hospital, compared with 282 in the previous seven day period. The number of intensive care admissions remained virtually unchanged at 66. In total, 512 people are currently being treated in hospital, the first time the figure has topped 500 since September 22.

The reproduction rate, which shows how the virus is spreading, has also risen to 1.12, meaning 1.12 people are being infected for every person with the virus. That figure is only updated every two weeks, and the information used in the update comes from September 27. The Netherlands relaxed most of its coronavirus measures on September 25, abandoning social distancing and the use of face masks in most places apart from public transport. Cafes and clubs have also been allowed to open on condition that customers show a QR code which indicates they have either been vaccinated, recently had coronavirus or a negative test within 24 hours. Just over 332,000 tests were carried out on people who do not want to be vaccinated last week.. Some 83% of the population over the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated but only 58% of 12 to 17-year-olds are fully protected. There are also wide regional differences. On the former island of Urk, just 27% of people have been vaccinated while in Staphorst, like Urk a staunch Protestant community, the figure is 52%.

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