Municipal authorities across the Netherlands reported several incidents where they intervened to enforce a strict personal distance requirement and a ban on groups in public of more than two people. The strict requirements were part of a package of measures introduced by the Dutch government to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Police issued an alert on Sunday for 33-year-old Onur K., wanted for questioning after four people were found killed in a home including his two young children. The mother of the children and their grandmother were also found dead in the Etten-Leur home on Saturday evening.
Authorities did not immediately identify K. as a suspect. "We are also concerned about his well-being," police said. "For this reason, we are also publishing his photo to find him as soon as possible."
Another 132 people in the Netherlands who tested positive for coronavirus died, Dutch public health agency RIVM revealed in updated statistics. The country is now home to 771 people who were being treated for Covid-19 but later passed away, out of a total number of 10,866 people who tested positive for the virus.
Some 903 people were being treated in the intensive care units of Dutch medical centers as confirmed Covid-19 patients who tested positive for coronavirus. Another 50 were receiving treatment for similar symptoms, suspected of having the virus but who were not definitively diagnosed, according to figures released on Sunday morning.
The bodies of four people were found inside a house in Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant on Saturday night, police said. The victims were possibly residents of the home, prompting a criminal investigation.
Firefighters were initially dispatched to the scene shortly after 6:10 p.m. when foul smell was reported in the area. Police descended on the scene a little while later. Once there, the deceased were found in the Dassenburcht home.
A growing number of bicyclists using electric-assissted pedelec models find themselves frustrated by traffic lights which will not turn green for them as they wait by themselves at stoplights. The bikes are capable of reaching speeds of up to 45 kilometers per hour, and will be allowed to move from the roads back to the bike paths in parts of Rotterdam next week.
Swiss pharmaceutical and diagnostics giant, Roche, has made the formula of a key coronavirus test component available to the Dutch government, the company announced on Friday. Roche said in a statement that it is aware of the “huge demand” for coronavirus tests in the Netherlands, and that it “wants to do everything in its power to support patients and caregivers.”
Beaches, streets and public areas across the Netherlands stood largely quiet on Saturday as the public continued to adhere to the new rule that requires 1.5 meters distance to be kept between people. The quietude comes in spite of the fair weather forecasts for the weekend which similarly drew large crowds to gather a week ago even after government and health officials pleaded with them to remain home as much as possible to help quell the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began in late February, police have arrested at least ten different people for threatening police, bus drivers and supermarket staff with a coronavirus infection by spitting at them or coughing on them. The incidents are causing more concern among police officers, who have already modified their approach to criminal and domestic intervention because of the ongoing health crisis.
Dutch public health agency RIVM said there were 9,762 people who tested positive for coronavirus in the Netherlands on Saturday, an increase of 1,159 over Friday's total. The agency added that 93 more people who tested positive later died, bringing the total number of Dutch fatal cases to 639.
The Covid-19 disease was already being transmitted among health care workers in Noord-Brabant from as early as Feb. 19, new research reveals—indicating that transmission was occurring over a week before the first case was officially recorded in the Netherlands late last month.
The Netherlands will move its clocks forward by an hour on Sunday as daylight savings time kicks into effect across most of Europe. The shift will take place in the early hours of Sunday morning, when clocks will jump forward by one hour at 2 a.m., potentially cutting off an hour of sleep for millions of people.