Netherlands coronavirus cases surpass a million since outbreak

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The Netherlands on Saturday surpassed a million confirmed coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic, official data showed.

The Institute for Public Health (RIVM) reported 4,075 new infections, taking the total number of cases to 1,001,826 in the 11 months since the virus was first found in the country on Feb. 27 last year. There have been 14,355 deaths.

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The actual number of infections in the country of 17 million is likely to be significantly higher, as in the first months of the epidemic only very seriously ill patients were tested. In later months a lack of capacity meant many patients did not get a test.

The RIVM late last year estimated that the total number of infections was probably at least three times the amount of confirmed cases.

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The infection rate in the Netherlands slowed in the first weeks of 2021, after all schools and non-essential stores were closed in December, two months after the shutdown of restaurants, bars, museums and other public places.

But infection numbers increased slightly again in the past week, as the more contagious variant of the virus first discovered in Britain took hold.

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