Just when we might have the first strain of COVID-19 under control, here comes another.
The new coronavirus mutation first detected in Britain caused half of all new infections in the Netherlands by Jan. 26, Dutch health minister Hugo de Jonge said on Monday.
Last week, health authorities said the new, more contagious variant was responsible for around a third of all new infections in the Netherlands.
The ‘British mutation’ was seen to be almost 50% more contagious than the older variant, based on calculations up until Jan. 14, De Jonge wrote in a letter to parliament.
The Dutch government has repeatedly warned that new mutations could lead to a new wave of infections in the coming weeks, despite a steady drop in the number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the year.
To stop the spread of new mutations, a nighttime curfew was added to an already broad lockdown last week.
More lockdowns will mean a slower economic recovery.