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Dutch report record number of virus infections

The Netherlands on Wednesday recorded its highest number of coronavirus cases ever registered in a single day, with 24,590 positive tests, the country’s national health authority said.

The new record overtakes a previous figure of 23,713, registered on November 24,

the National Institute for Public Health said, adding that the highly-infectious Omicron variant now made up most cases.

Yet, despite the rapid rise in infections due to the Omicron strain, hospital admission numbers continued to decline said health authorities.

Around 13 patients were admitted to intensive care units over the past 24 hours, the lowest number since October.

There were now 449 coronavirus patients in intensive care, 15 fewer than on Tuesday, the National Coordination Centre for Patient Distribution (LCPS) added.

But the LCPS warned that the rapid rise in infections were bound to have an impact on the number of hospital admissions later in the month.

“The effects are still unclear, but the expectation is that the intake of new patients will rise halfway through January,” the LCPS said.

The Netherlands currently has one of the strictest set of anti-virus measures in place, with all non-essential shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues shuttered until January 14.

Dutch schools however are set to reopen on January 10, but universities and other higher education institutions remained closed and restricted to online teaching.