22 coronavirus deaths in Amsterdam care center

Care center Beth Shalom in Amsterdam has lost 22 of its 120 residents to the coronavirus, a spokesperson for the care home for the elderly confirmed to the Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad. Another 15 residents have tested positive for the virus and are showing symptoms of Covid-19. They are being isolated from the other residents.

According to Het Parool, the first Covid-19 infection was confirmed on March 10. Both newspapers link the outbreak to a Purim celebration on March 9, which some 30 residents attended. "Many people from outside usually attend the Purim festival in Beth Shalom, including many young people," a person who led the synagogue service on March 9 said to Parool. "Residents sit close together in the meeting room on the ground floor. There was eating, music, and dancing. It is therefore busier in the house than a normal day. Purim is also quite an exuberant party, a kind of carnival light."

A spokesperson for Beth Shalom emphasized that residents may also have picked up the virus at a different time, NOS reports. "We only went on lockdown when it wans announced nationally, and it was after that." The spokesperson said that the care center regrets the high number of deaths. "We find it terrible. Fortunately, seven residents have also recovered and no new cases have been added since last week Sunday." The care home has enough masks and protective gear for employees, the spokesperson added. 

Nursing home Nieuw Rijsenburgh Goeree-Overflakkee also had a large coronavirus outbreak, traced back to a church service held at the home. As did care center De Leeuwenhoek in Rotterdam, though employees blamed this outbreak on poor response to the pandemic.