Your voice in the Netherlands
Wednesday 5 August: THE HAGUE NEWS UPDATES (source: regional broadcaster Omroep West and Dutchbuzz)
NEW INFECTIONS DOUBLE THIS WEEK, THE HAGUE IS A HOTSPOT
The number of new Covid-19 infections in the Netherlands has doubled this week, compared with last week, with 2588 confirmed new reports. The number of Corona patients admitted to hospital this week has also doubled. The province of South Holland, and in particular Rotterdam and The Hague, has the highest levels of infection in the country. A quarter of those who tested positive are in their twenties. Although younger people are unlikely to develop serious symptoms, they can infect other more vulnerable people. Most of the recent infections seem to have happened in homes or during contact with family and friends. In most cases, the virus was caught in the Netherlands, by people who have not recently travelled abroad. Prime Minister Mark Rutte will hold a press conference on Thursday evening to outline the government’s response to the rise in infections.
RIPTIDE WARNINGS FOR SWIMMERS
The upcoming heatwave is expected to draw many people to the beaches this month, and swimmers are being cautioned about riptides. These strong currents in the North Sea claimed the life of a teenager in Monster last week and authorities say they are often unknown to foreign bathers. The town of Katwijk has installed signs in seven languages, warning against the danger that exists even when the sea appears calm and the tide is low. The official advice is to remain calm if caught in a riptide and not to struggle against it, as this can lead to exhaustion. Once the current has slowed, the swimmer can make their way back to shore.
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY USED TO WAIVE TRAFFIC OFFENCES
Since 2016, foreign diplomats have been involved in 22 traffic offences in the Netherlands, ranging from driving under the influence to hit-and-runs. In the past, arrests of diplomats by Dutch police have led to foreign governments demanding – and being given – formal apologies from the Dutch government. In some incidents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can give a ‘final warning’ or request the government of the perpetrator for the diplomatic immunity to be lifted and this has led to four diplomats being prosecuted or expelled from the country. A plan for the Ministry to make public the more serious offences, citing the embassy invloved, has not materialised. Currently, offenders receive a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, requesting them to pay traffic fines voluntarily.
These news updates are brought to you by www.dutchbuzz.nl, in cooperation with The Hague’s official broadcaster, Omroep West.
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