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World: Netherlands 10 Days Away From Health Care Rationing, Doctor Warns in Lockdown Appeal

Dutch police arrest more than 30 amid ongoing unrest

  Dutch police arrest more than 30 amid ongoing unrest EDE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch police have arrested more than 30 people during unrest in The Hague and other towns in the Netherlands that followed an “ orgy of violence ” the previous night at a protest against coronavirus restrictions. The violence by groups of youths in The Hague and elsewhere Saturday night wasn't as serious as Friday night in Rotterdam, where police opened fire on rampaging rioters and arrested 51 people. Police said SundayThe violence by groups of youths in The Hague and elsewhere Saturday night wasn't as serious as Friday night in Rotterdam, where police opened fire on rampaging rioters and arrested 51 people.

The Netherlands is 10 days away from doctors deciding which patients receive care in hospitals after the country had a surge of COVID-19 infections, the Associated Press reported.

Commuters and tourists, some wearing face mask, take a free ferry across IJ river to Amsterdam North, Netherlands, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. The Dutch government announced Tuesday Nov. 23, 2021, that it is making social distancing mandatory again for all adults Wednesday after coronavirus infection numbers hit a new weekly record Tuesday, climbing 39% while hospital and intensive care unit admissions also rose sharply. © Peter Dejong/AP Photo Commuters and tourists, some wearing face mask, take a free ferry across IJ river to Amsterdam North, Netherlands, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. The Dutch government announced Tuesday Nov. 23, 2021, that it is making social distancing mandatory again for all adults Wednesday after coronavirus infection numbers hit a new weekly record Tuesday, climbing 39% while hospital and intensive care unit admissions also rose sharply.

The head of the national association of intensive care units, Diederik Gommers, told lawmakers that hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients and intensive care doctors will soon have to make difficult decisions about which critical patients receive care and which won't.

Austrians enjoy final day before impending lockdown

  Austrians enjoy final day before impending lockdown VIENNA (AP) — Austrians were enjoying a last day out in coffeehouses and at Christmas markets Sunday before the government imposes a nationwide lockdown to combat a growing fourth wave of coronavirus infections. The measures, which take effect Monday and are expected to last for a maximum of 20 days but will be reevaluated after 10, require people to stay home apart from basic reasons like getting groceries, going to the doctor and exercising. © Provided by Associated Press People sit at an outdoor cafe on a street decorated with Christmas lights in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.

Gommers appealed Tuesday for a stricter lockdown, including shutting down schools. The country has already been under a partial lockdown since November 13.

Gommers said that many ICU staff are currently not working because they're either sick or they have children who tested positive and have to self-quarantine, putting further stress on the hospitals.

Over the last week, children aged from 5 to 11 had the highest rates of infections in the country. There has been a 39 percent spike in infections over the past week, according to the country's public health institute.

The Dutch government made social distancing mandatory on Wednesday for all adults in places where COVID passes are not required. The partial lockdown forced restaurants, bars and supermarkets to close by 8 p.m. and non-essential shops to be closed by 6.

Austria Plans to Make COVID Vaccines Mandatory Next Year as Nation Enters Fourth Lockdown

  Austria Plans to Make COVID Vaccines Mandatory Next Year as Nation Enters Fourth Lockdown Of Austria's population of 8.9 million people, roughly 66 percent are vaccinated as a smaller but expressive minority of residents refuse to get the shots. The new lockdown restrictions allow people to leave their homes only for specific reasons like grocery shopping and exercising. Though parents were asked to keep their children home when possible, kindergartens and schools are remaining open, according to AP.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Social distancing—staying 1.5 meters from people not in one's family—was already strongly advised by the government. Making it mandatory means law enforcement officials can fine people who do not comply.

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said that a press conference for coronavirus measures that had been scheduled for December 3 has been moved forward to Friday.

"The picture is somber and worrying," De Jonge told reporters in The Hague.

The Netherlands is in the midst of a surge that has seen a string of new daily records for numbers of coronavirus infections in recent weeks. Hospital and intensive care unit admissions also rose.

"The turnaround that we want to—have to—see this week...to ensure that pressure on the healthcare system doesn't get too high, has to come soon otherwise we will have to force it," De Jonge said.

As Europe virus cases surge, UK plows on with its new normal

  As Europe virus cases surge, UK plows on with its new normal LONDON (AP) — The bars are shut in Vienna, and the Christmas market is empty in Munich, as several European nations tighten up or even lock down to combat a spike in coronavirus infections. Meanwhile in London, couples sip mulled wine at a seasonal market near the River Thames, full-capacity audiences fill the seats at the nearby National Theatre, and friends huddle over pints in pubs throughout the city. Not for the first time in the pandemic, Britain is out of step with many of its neighbors. But this time, it’s happy to be different.The U.K.

The government has asked for advice from a panel of experts and "hopes to make decisions Friday," De Jonge said.

There are currently around 500 COVID-19 patients in Dutch ICUs, which have an overall capacity of 1,066, according to an organization that distributes patients between hospitals. Gommers said the number of beds could be scaled up to a maximum of 1,200 to 1,250 and that around 50 COVID-19 patients are entering ICUs each day.

He said that the government's target of 1,350 beds is out of reach because many ICU staff are currently not working due to illness or family illness.

He said the only way to ease pressure on ICUs is "to ensure that the admissions go down very fast. And the fastest way of reducing (admissions) is tough measures and I think that means a strict lockdown. And that includes schools because I think if you don't close schools you don't stop infections."

The Netherlands and the rest of Europe are awaiting a decision from the European Union's drugs regulator on a request by Pfizer to approve its COVID-19 vaccine for elementary school-age children.

Fresh snow beckons Italian skiers returning after 20 months

  Fresh snow beckons Italian skiers returning after 20 months SAN VIGILIO DI MAREBBE, Italy (AP) — After nearly two years of being restricted to watching snow accumulate on distant mountains, Italian skiers are finally returning to the slopes that have been off-limits since the first pandemic lockdown in March 2020. But just as the industry is poised to start its recovery from the lost season and the abrupt closure the previous year, a spike in cases in the Alpine province bordering Austria is underlining just how precarious the situation remains.

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Austrian lockdown extended through Dec 11 as planned .
BERLIN (AP) — Austria's lockdown has officially been extended until Dec. 11 as planned amid signs that the measures are helping to bring down a sky-high coronavirus infection rate. A parliamentary committee signed off Tuesday on the extension of the country's fourth national lockdown of the pandemic, which started on Nov. 22, the Austria Press Agency reported. That was necessary because some lockdown measures can only be ordered for 10 days at a time. © Provided by Associated Press Public spaces are empty due to the lockdown in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021.

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