Updates - COVID-19
The Dutch government acquired a robot that will significantly up its capacity for analyzing coronavirus tests. The robot, officially called STRIP-1 but commonly referred to as The Beast, can process approximately 20 thousand PCR tests per 24 hours and deliver the results online. The cost per test is also significantly lower, the Ministry of Public Health announced on Thursday.
The Netherlands and the rest of the world are very concerned about new variants of the coronavirus popping up, with new strains spreading like wildfire through the United Kingdom, South Africa and South America. With that in mind, the departing Rutte III cabinet announced extra measures in the fight against this pandemic on Wednesday.
A majority of the members of parliament in the Netherlands voted in favor of a curfew from 9 p.m. through 4:30 a.m. The curfew will begin at 9 p.m on Saturday a half-hour later than what was proposed by the outgoing prime minister, Mark Rutte.
Indonesia is closing its borders to foreign travelers from all around the world for the first two weeks of 2021, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced on Monday, amid concerns over the discovery of a more infectious SARS-CoV-2 variant first detected in the United Kingdom.
Coronavirus is once again spreading rapidly. In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of infections, with figures up to around 9,000 per day.
Measures remain necessary so we can protect one another
The number of coronavirus infections is falling. That is good news. We are following the rules, and this is having an impact. But we are not there yet, so it’s important that we maintain the partial lockdown. We will continue to limit our travel movements and contact with each other. We will continue to follow the basic rules. And we will try to help each other get through this difficult period.
Together we have succeeded in halting the rise of coronavirus infections. We are on the right path, but we are not moving quickly enough. The numbers need to drop faster if we are to guarantee the quality of care for all patients and prevent hospital staff from becoming overwhelmed. We also want to speed up the return to greater freedom in our daily lives. The government has therefore decided to impose extra measures for the next 2 weeks on top of the current partial lockdown.