Coronavirus: Dutch health authorities ready outbreak management team

People wearing masks in Beijing, China
People wearing masks in Beijing, ChinaImaginechina-EditorialDepositPhotos

The Dutch national institute of public health RIVM is readying an Outbreak Management Team in response to the new Coronavirus outbreak in China. Experts will be meeting at the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports on Friday to discuss the virus and whether measures need to be taken, the Telegraaf reports.

Such a meeting is relatively standard procedure when new viruses appear in the world, the Ministry said. Similar meetings were held after the outbreak of SARS and MERS, among others. Officials and experts will continue to consult throughout next week.

This virus was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December and has since spread to every province in China, except for its three remote autonomous regions, according to CNN. As of Friday, 846 people worldwide have been diagnosed with the virus, and 26 people have died. So far all the recorded deaths were in mainland China. In addition to China, infections were also reported in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, the World Health Organizations held emergency meetings on the outbreak and concluded that while this virus is a national emergency in China, it is too early to declare it a global emergency. 

Earlier this week the Dutch health authorities said that it is not yet necessary to erect a quarantine zone at Schiphol airport. Dutch airline KLM is also not taking any additional measures as yet.