This week in Utrecht: coronavirus, BLM protests and the mayor
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The top stories on our minds this week
As of today, the RIVM website lists the updates in development of coronavirus in the Netherlands since it’s introduction to the country in late February. At a staggering almost 6,000 dead to the disease, the graphics show that the infection rates have been slowly tapering off. Since the last daily report, six are dead- a dramatic difference from the peek of 175 people at the end of March.
Many professionals agree that there will be a second outbreak of the virus in the coming months, so the government is stressing the importance of sticking to the rules and restrictions set in place to curb the spread.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Sport continues to publish information and graphics about the progression of the virus on their website here.
On Monday, an estimated 5,000 people gathered in the Dam Center of Amsterdam to protest in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement. These protests come in response to the massive protests and riots happening in the United States after the death of George Floyd from police brutality.
The protest in Amsterdam on Monday, and those expected today and tomorrow in other Dutch cities, comes not only as an act of solidarity with protesters in the United States, but also in response to police brutality in the Netherlands.
Many Dutch supporters also refer to the death of Mitch Henriquez, an Aruban man who died after complications of an arrest in the Hague in 2015, believed to be subject to police violence.
Organization of a protest in Utrecht appears to still be in its early stages, but there is some talk of a protest to be held on Friday, June 5th. Organizers are in the process of acquiring permits.
Terraces openAt noon on Monday, June 1st, the bells tolled in the city and restaurants were finally able to reopen with certain restrictions after nearly seven weeks of silence.
Over social media, many restaurants shared their happiness in inviting guests back.
Jan van Zanen, mayor of Utrecht since 2014, is moving to the administration of the Hague. With a career in politics spanning over almost 40 years, he has earned the responsibility of leadership in the political epicenter of the country.