Record number of coronavirus infections set on Tuesday; University's plead with students
Public health agency RIVM said that 1,379 more people tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. The three-day average for new Covid-19 hospitalizations also shot up to 16.7, with an average of 4.3 patients moved into intensive care each of the past three days.
It was the fifth straight day the Netherlands added over a thousand new coronavirus infections to its national statistics. The tally was 60 percent higher than the amount reported last Tuesday. Already this week, the RIVM has registered 2,679 new infections, a 52-percent increase over last week. The latest announcement pushed total known Dutch infections since late February to the 86 thousand mark.
“The upward trend continues with more than a thousand new cases per day,” said Aura Timen, who leads the National Center for Infectious Disease Control at the RIVM. “The patterns are similar: many young people become infected, students, people in their twenties: the virus easily spreads with them," she told newspaper AD.
Of over eight thousand coronavirus infections recorded last week, over 1,450 were linked to people in their early twenties, and 950 were tied to people in their late twenties. Another 800 infections were found in people aged 15-19.
The leader of Leiden University made an urgent appeal to students to be more careful. "We have received word that things are not going well in Leiden, especially in the student houses," said Carel Stolker, the university's chancellor. He alleged that parties were being held by students despite warnings against gatherings. "That simply cannot happen," he said.
Several student associations in Leiden signed a letter earlier this month asking members and non-members alike to stick to the rules. Stolker praised the organizations for doing their part.
However in Delft, several TU Delft student associations sent their own letter on Tuesday warning that this may be students' last chance prevent more restrictions from being imposed after a sharp uptick in infections in the city. Nearly 80 percent of those testing positive in Delft are students. according to broadcaster NOS.
The student leaders said that it was a perfect opportunity to show that younger people can take on greater reponsibilities in Dutch society. "If we do nothing, there is a good chance that we will end up in a local lockdown in Delft and will again have to stay home for weeks," the organizations said in the letter.
"It is not too late yet, but time is running out."