Eight more test positive for coronavirus, bringing Dutch total to 18

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

Eight new patients were diagnosed with coronavirus on Monday, health agency RIVM said on Monday. "This brings the total number of positive tests in the Netherlands to 18," the agency stated.

"Nearly all new persons diagnosed with the new coronavirus are travelers from northern Italy or are family contacts of a previous patient," the statement continued. The health service GGD is now investigating who the new patients have made contact with recently.

A total of between 150 and 200 people in the Netherlands have been tested for the Covid-19 variant of coronavirus, a spokesperson for RIVM told NL Times. All contacts of those who tested positive will be monitored by the GGD for the two week period following their last contact with a patient who tested positive. They will be categorized by risk level, and will be observed for any signs of respiratory ailment or fever.

High-risk contacts including family members and housemates will be told to remain home in quarantine for two weeks. “With a low risk, we must take temperature measurements twice per day and pass it on to the GGD. And they have to monitor their health for two weeks," the spokesperson said.

Samples will be taken from those contacts who are symptomatic, which will be screened for the Covid-19 strain of the virus. They will be told to stay in quarantine until test results return.

"You must have symptoms. If you do not have symptoms you can do everything you normally would do," a spokesperson for GGD Haaglanden told NL Times shortly before the new positive results were announced.

Nike Europe headquarters and two hospital ICU's closed

Apparel company Nike made the decision to close its European headquarters in Hilversum on Monday and Tuesday to take measures to thoroughly clean the facility amid speculation that one of its employees had tested positive. That employee is believed to be the brother of the country's first Covid-19 patient, a man from Loon op Zand, Noord-Brabant, whose wife and daughter were diagnosed with the virus on Saturday.

The RIVM did not explicity confirm that, but it did confirm reports that one of the new coronavirus cases was treated in the intensive care unit at Maasstad Hospital in Rotterdam. "For the time being the hospital has instituted a partial stop of admissions to the intensive care unit as a precautionary measure," the RIVM said. The patient was treated at the hospital from February 22 up to Saturday, when they were transferred to the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, broadcaster NOS reported.

Similarly, the Beatrixziekenhuis, a hospital in Gorinchem, also closed for new patients and began testing people there for coronavirus. Their ICU had treated someone who ultimately tested positive for Covid-19 from February 21 through Friday. When that patient's condition worsened, they were also transported to Erasmus MC on Saturday.

Netherlands health monitoring

Across Europe 2,204 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and 38 people have died, according to statistics provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the RIVM. The vast majority of cases were reported in Italy, where 35 people died from their illness, and 1,689 positive test results have been registered.

Authorities in the Netherlands have asked people in the country to be particularly mindful of their health if they have traveled to China, Hong Kong, Iran, several regions of northern Italy, Macau, Singapore or South Korea. The eight Italian areas include the Aosta Valley, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino-Alto Adige & South Tyrol, and Veneto.

Anyone who has traveled in those areas and exhibits respiratory ailments should remain in their homes until the symptoms subside. They should also maintain contact by phone with their physician. If symptoms get worse or the patient develops a fever they will likely be checked for coronavirus.

There are no plans to preventatively test people without reason, the RIVM said on its website. The reason being that the test would be inconclusive as the virus would not necessarily be in the body at detectible levels.

The prevailing advice is still that people wash their hands regularly, turn away from people when coughing or sneezing and doing so into an elbow instead of their hands, and to use disposable tissues.

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