Covid-19 diagnoses in NL jump to 4,749; another 34 deaths
Another 545 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with coronavirus Covid-19, bringing the total diagnoses up to 4,749, public health institute RIVM said on Monday. A total of 213 people have died from the virus, an increase of 34 from Sunday. They range in age from 55 to 97, with an average age of 82.
The RIVM acknowledged that another 288 people required hospitalization in the past 24 hours. Since the start of the health crisis, a total of 1,230 coronavirus patients have been treated in a hospital. The country's association of intensive care professionals said on Sunday that 405 patients in total were being treated in ICU beds The Netherlands currently has 1,150 ICU beds in total, of which half are typically occupied by victims of accidents and unexpected emergencies. Another 350 are being prepared.
Noord-Brabant is still the province with the most residents testing positive for coronavirus, with 1,558 patients, an increase of 154 from a day earlier. Zuid-Holland has the second most patients with 647 (+62), followed by Noord-Holland with 600 (+65). The percentage of the country's patients residing in Noord-Brabant has held at about 33 percent for the past three days, down from 45 percent less than two weeks ago.
"The actual umber of infections with the new coronavirus is higher than the number mentioned here," the RIVM said. "This is because not everyone with a possible infection is tested, but mainly patients who are so ill that they are hospitalized and caregivers."
The government's crisis committee will be meeting with experts from the RIVM again on Monday, to assess the measures currently in place against the spread of the coronavirus and whether more measures are needed. A press conference will be held after the meeting, expected at around 6:30 p.m.
GPs in the Netherlands are starting to think about creating locations for palliative care, should the coronavirus epidemic become unmanageable. "As long as it is possible, general practitioners and home care will continue to help people in the home situation," Ella Kalsbeek of the National Association for GPs said to NPO Radio 1 program Spraakmakers. "But if a lot of people get sick, you can get a situation where you have to create palliative care homes, for example a hotel that you rent out."
Kalsbeek pointed out that intubation is often not possible for the elderly. "Then these conversations are held: 'You are 80, how do you feel about it? We think you are too vulnerable for intubation, would you then still want to be in a hospital?' Experience shows that a lot of older people then say: let me stay at home. Next best is an environment that is well equipped to guide people in the last phase of their lives."
Around 600 hair salons closed their doors as of 1:00 p.m. on Monday. These are hairdressers and salons affiliated with Kappersunited, including Cosmo Hairstyling, Kinki Kappers, BrainWash and Team Kappers, according to NOS. The RIVM said that hairdressers can stay open for the time being, but Kappersunited wants to contribute to the efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19. "We simply cannot reassure people any longer at this time," a spokesperson for the association said to NOS. "The guideline to keep 1.5 meters away is not possible for hairdressers and the hygiene precautions that have already been taken at hair salons are no longer sufficient for many hairdressers and customers."
After an NL Alert had to be issued on Sunday, due to crowds flocking to parks and beaches to enjoy the sunshine, a number of municipalities again had to urge people to stay home on Monday. Bloemendaal and Zandvoort both said on Twitter that it is keeping parking lots closed to discourage beach visitors. Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security condemned this behavior, calling it "embarrassing" that healthcare workers are doing everything in their power to keep the Netherlands running while others gather in groups to enjoy the weather.
We zien vandaag weer veel mensen naar het strand komen, dit is niet de bedoeling! Kom ook doordeweeks niet naar het strand en de duinen. De parkeerplaatsen zijn zo lang als nodig is afgesloten. #samentegencorona pic.twitter.com/GwaH97Pp83— Gemeente Bloemendaal (@bloemendaaltwit) March 23, 2020
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam called for more resources for municipalities to enforce the government measures and guidelines to curb the spread of this virus. He, mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam, and the safety offices of 25 regions will meet in Utrecht on Monday evening to discuss this.
The Dutch Armed Forces decided to not only keep the Netherlands safe, but also fit. Over the coming weeks, the army will share videos with exercises people can do at home.
Wat doe jij om #fit te blijven vanuit #huis? 💪 De komende weken maakt #defensie je fit, gewoon terwijl je thuiszit! WORKOUT 1: https://t.co/P2qRsTesi9. Ga gelijk aan de slag en deel je #workout met ons! Houd je altijd aan de actuele #richtlijnen van het #RIVM! #corona— Koninklijke Landmacht (@landmacht) March 23, 2020
Over the weekend, the Red Cross collected over 125 thousand masks and other protective gear, donated by individuals across the Netherlands. These donations will be given to care institutions who need them most, the aid organization said on Sunday.
A manufacturer of Chloroquine, an old malaria medicine that showed positive effects on a number of Covid-19 patients, in Zeewolde was placed under police protection over the weekend. Since the possible benefits of the medicine against the coronavirus became known, he's been getting visits from "vague types" offering him a lot of money for the pills, he said to EenVandaag on Monday.