About 100 tested for Covid-19 incl. family of Amsterdam coronavirus patient

Stock image of a doctor with a blood sample tested for coronavirus
Stock image of a doctor with a blood sample tested for coronavirus bestravelvideoDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Update, 13:00, 29 February 2020: The Amsterdam woman's male partner and young son both tested positive for coronavirus.

As many as 100 people have been tested in the Netherlands for the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus, Dutch health authority RIVM told Parool. Among them are the husband and three children of an Amsterdam woman who tested positive for the virus on Friday, one of whom required a second test to rule out a possible false positive.

The new figures mean the Netherlands has begun ramping up testing of people in the country, as just about 50 had been screened by the end of Wednesday. All test results thus far were negative, apart from two people, including the woman from Amsterdam now in quarantine in Diemen.

Her family's results were expected to be announced by the RIVM and public health service GGD Amsterdam on Saturday. Her symptoms were mild, the city confirmed.

Out of precaution, some youth athletes playing matches in Amsterdam Ijburg will not shake hands before or after their games, broadcaster NOS said. They will also take stricter hygiene precautions, including the use of disinfecting soaps. Two of the Amsterdam woman's children attend schools on Ijburg. Nevertheless, Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema told reporters Friday night that there is no cause for panic, and no events were ordered cancelled by her or Diemen mayor Erik Boog.

The other coronavirus case concerns a man from Loon op Zand, Noord-Brabant. He was diagnosed after he went to a hospital complaining of symptoms linked to the virus. He was reportedly in fair condition, and was being kept in isolation at the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg.

Health advise in the Netherlands was still for residents to continue to be vigilant about washing their hands with soap and water, being mindful of others when sneezing or coughing, and sneezing or coughing into their elbows instead of their hands. People were advised to consult a physician only if they have either visited areas where coronavirus or come in contact with someone who tested positive, and have a fever as well as a respiratory symptom.

The national government launched a helpline that Netherlands residents can call with questions about the coronavirus. The number is 0800-1351.