The Omicron variant of Covid-19 caused more than 50 per cent of infections in the Netherlands over the past week, replacing Delta as the dominant variant, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has announced.
“The faster spread of this Omicron variant will lead to additional infections in the near future, which will also increase the number of hospital admissions,” the RIVM said on Tuesday.
The Dutch government therefore imposed a lockdown on December 19, Xinhua news agency reported.
With only essential shops remaining open, the government hopes the lockdown and the current booster campaign will reduce pressure on the country’s healthcare system as much as possible.
From December 21 to 28, the number of positive tests in the Netherlands fell by 11 per cent to a total of 84,398, compared to a decrease of 19 per cent during the previous seven days. Fewer people were hospitalised with Covid-19, specifically 1,063 patients, a decrease of 26 per cent compared to the previous week.