Some 54 more patients have died of coronavirus in the Netherlands, bringing the total fatalities to 5,510, according to official data on Tuesday.

The number of COVID-19 cases reached 42,984 after 196 more people tested positive over the past 24 hours, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said.

With 35 new admissions, a total of 11,378 Dutch citizens have been hospitalized for virus treatment to date.

Last week, the Netherlands joined several European states in announcing the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte outlined a four-month plan to phase out social restrictions if the virus remains under control.

The lifting of measures began Monday, and will be expanded in stages through September.

Elementary schools, hairdressers and libraries have reopened while restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and cultural institutions will conditionally resume operations from June 1. A maximum of 30 people, including staff, will be allowed at a time, and only if visitors are able to keep a distance of 1.5 meters (nearly 5 feet) from others.

Restrictions will be further eased between June 15 and Sept. 1.

Citizens have been advised to maintain hygiene, avoid busy places, and stay at home if they are sick.

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