The coronavirus will definitely cause a recession in the Netherlands, according to a report central planning office CPB released on Thursday. The CPB calculated four scenarios depending on how long the measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 will remain in place, and all four scenarios resulted in a recession. In the best case scenario, the Dutch economy will shrink 1.2 percent this year, in the worst case it will shrink 7.7 percent. In three of the four scenarios, the shrink will be greater than in the 2008/2009 financial crisis, CPB said.
Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health asked health institute RIVM to look into other available coronavirus tests in order to increase the Netherlands' testing capacity, he said in a letter to parliament. He also said that around 20 thousand former and retired healthcare workers have volunteered to return to the sector to help with the Covid-19 crisis.
Of the first 100 patients admitted to the Elisabeth TweeSteden hospital in Tilburg with the coronavirus, 20 have died, doctor, microbiologist and virologist Jean-Luc Murk, who works at the hospital, said on television program Jinek. The average age of the admitted patients was 72 years and 67 percent were male, Murk said, ANP reports.
The government will decide next week Tuesday how the Netherlands will proceed in the fight against the coronavirus. The decisions will affect measures in place unit April 6, including working from home and the closure of schools, restaurants and museums. Events that need a permit will be canceled until at least June 1st, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, NOS reports.
With the unsurprising announcement that the 2020 Olympics would be delayed a year, many athletes and trainers were still disappointed by the news. The Tokyo games were scheduled to for the upcoming summer, and the International Olympic Committee announced the setback on Tuesday.
Two-time gold medalist Dafne Schippers told television program DWDD that there are more important things than sport right now "People are dying. So we can talk about the positivity of sport but it really isn't that positive right now and I understand the decision completely".
Giorgio Gori, mayor of the northern Italian city of Bergamo, criticized the Netherlands for not implementing a complete lockdown in the fight against the coronavirus Covid-19. "I say it with all due respect, but I think that a big mistake is being made in the Netherlands," Gori said during a Q&A with foreign press in Italy, the Telegraaf reports.
The municipalities in the coastal province of Zeeland are calling on tourists from Germany and the rest of the Netherlands to stay away during the coronavirus crisis. The care facilities in Zeeland really cannot accommodate any extra people, is their message, Metro reports.
New figures released on Wednesday by public health agency RIVM showed that another 852 people were diagnosed with coronavirus, and 80 more people who tested positive for the virus have died. The Netherlands is now home to 6,412 people in total who have tested positive for the virus, a 15.3 percent increase compared to figures released on Tuesday.
Wednesday's increase in of 852 patients was the highest recorded single-day increase in the Netherlands to date. Nevertheless, the rate of increase fell from the 17.1 percent growth in patients recorded a day earlier.
The police in Westervoort and Duiven, Gelderland, have fined five people for not adhering to rules in place to curb the spread of coronavirus Covid-19. The culprits involved formed groups of three or more people and did not stay the required 1.5 meters away from each other.
The outbreak of the coronavirus will almost certainly result in a recession for the Dutch economy, according to Pieter Hasekamp, director of central planning office CPB. "We are still calculating, but a recession is almost inevitable," he said in an interview with the Telegraaf.
The Healthcare and Youth Inspectorate warned Netherlands consumers to be careful of medicines advertised to work against the coronavirus Covid-19. "There are no medicines or vaccines against the coronavirus yet," the Inspectorate said.
In the Netherlands it is illegal to advertise unregistered medicines claiming to be effective against a disease, virus or condition. "But manufactures and suppliers often seek the loopholes of the law," the Inspectorate added. Other countries also don't have these restrictions and advertise online.
Medical masks seem to be a new hot commodity in the criminal world. Recently the police arrested two people in Dordrecht for trying to scam hospitals into buying non-existent masks for high amounts. And masks were stolen from a care institution in Putten.
Last week, the police received reports from multiple Dutch hospitals saying they were being offered a large batch of medical masks, for which they had to pay millions of euros. The police immediately suspected a scam and started an investigation.
The measures the Dutch government took to curb the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 seem to be succeeding in "flattening the curve". The infection rate of the outbreak is declining, Jaap van Dissel, director of public health institute RIVM said to parliamentarians on Wednesday. "At least there is a positive trend," he said, NOS reports. Diederik Gommers, chairman of the Dutch association for intensive care NVIC, also updated parliamentarians on the state of affairs in the ICUs.
To make sure everyone understands new measures implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus Covid-19, the government published some clarifications on exactly what type of gatherings are banned and what is allowed. In general, groups of three or more people are banned, and stores, markets, public transit, and locations like parks and beaches must close if insufficient hygiene measures are taken and people are unlikely to keep 1.5 meters apart.
From this week, blood banks under Sanquin are testing whether blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients can help new patients. Health service GGD will contact recovered patients and ask them to make contact with the blood bank.
Participants will be asked to donate blood plasma a total of four times, at seven day intervals. Sanquin will remove the antibodies from cured patients' plasma and process it into Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP), which can be given to Covid-19 patients via transfusion.
The first person to be diagnosed with coronavirus Covid-19 in the Netherlands is doing well and back at work, Tilburg mayor Theo Weterings said on television program Jinek on Tuesday. The 56-year-old man from Loon op Zand tested positive on February 27th.
A total of 546 patients with coronavirus Covid-19 are currently being treated in intensive care units in the Netherlands, according to the latest figures from intensive care association NVIC. The number of patients rose by 20 percent on Monday and 12 percent on Tuesday, resulting in the number of available beds dropping from "sufficient" to "few".
NVIC chairman Diederik Gommers told RTL Nieuws that they are taking tings day by day. "I can't look into a crystal ball," he said. "If 30 new patients are added tomorrow I will be a happy man. If that is 80 tomorrow, I will be somber."
The decision on whether or not schools will reopen after April 6 will only be made after the results of a crucial study by public health institute RIVM are known, Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Eduction said on television program Op1. It seems very likely that schools will remain closed, because the RIVM told Nieuwsuur that this study will take six weeks and it started Tuesday.
Bruno Bruins, who stepped down as Minister for Medical Care last week, said thank you for all the messages of support he received since his resignation.
"Many thanks for all the sweet messages, flowers, drawings and gifts. Heart warming. I am resting now, although I don't like it much. I wish all the hard workers in the Netherlands a lot of strength. Only together will we work the corona crisis out of the country. Take care and look after each other!" Bruins said on Twitter.
Hotel chains Fletcher and Van der Valk are making hotels available as care centers for coronavirus patients and other patients to leave more room in hospitals. More than a hundred locations are ready to be converted for patient care within a short time, the two chains confirmed to NU.nl.
Another 811 people were diagnosed with coronavirus since Monday, public health agency RIVM said. In the past 24 hours, another 265 people were reportedly hospitalized, and 63 more people died who had previously tested positive.
Since the first person tested positive in late February, a total of 1,495 patients required hospitalization. On Monday evening, the number of patients in intensive care reached 487. The age range of the deceased patients remained between 55 and 97 years of age.
Supermarkets and drug stores in the Netherlands will introduce a door policy starting immediately. One customer per 10 square meters is allowed inside, and once a store is full, customers will have to wait outside.
Taking a shopping cart is also now mandatory in supermarkets, even if a customer only wants one product, the central food trade association CBL announced on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
Intensive care units throughout the Netherlands will be filled with coronavirus patients for months yet to come, Nico van ’t Hullenaar, a Pulmonologist at the Bernhoven Hospital in Uden, expects. And it is not only patients with Covid-19 who will die due to this virus, he said to NRC.
Philips announced that it is stepping up the production of medical equipment that can be used in the fight against the coronavirus, such as respirators, X-ray, and CT scanners. The company plans to double its production of respiratory equipment in the next eight weeks, and even have it quadrupled in the third quarter, the company said.