The municipalities on the Dutch border with Germany is calling on German day trippers to not come to the Netherlands on Thursday. "The mayor of Venlo was on RTL Deutschland this morning, I had several radio interviews and spoke to 14 German journalists," Robert Bouten of safety region Veiligheidsregio Limburg-Noord said to NOS.
With temperatures climbing to the high twenties this week, rescue brigades in the Netherlands are warning people to be careful of going to cool down in the open water. The water temps are still cold, and due to the coronavirus crisis, there aren't lifeguards everywhere.
"The water is still quite cold at this time of year; about 12 degrees. Swimming and playing in cold water has a massive effect on the body, so these activities can lead to dangerous situations. For example, hypothermia and cramps," the rescue brigades warn.
There were 275 Covid-19 patients in intensive care on Wednesday, a decrease of 18 since Tuesday and the lowest total since March 18. In the 41 days since the peak of 1,417 intensive care cases was reached on April 9, the number of patients being treated in ICU has gone down 39 times.
"The number of COVID patients in the ICU is falling rapidly," said Ernst Kuipers, the chair of the acute care providers network in the Netherlands. Outside the ICU, Covid-19 patients were also reducing, but at a lower rate. Only one Dutch patient was still being treated in Germany.
Over 7,900 residents of nursing homes in the Netherlands tested positive for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. As did nearly 1,100 residents of care institutions for disabled people, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health said in a letter to parliament, based on figures and estimates from public health institute RIVM.
Of the nearly 8 thousand nursing home residents who tested positive for Covid-19, over 2,500 died. There were also another 4,550 suspected, but unconfirmed, cases of Covid-19 in nursing homes.
Another 33 people were confirmed to have died as a result of Covid-19 in the Netherlands, public health agency RIVM said. The deaths reported by the agency included 7 people who died on Tuesday, with the rest having died between April 15 and May 20.
A total of 5,748 people have died in the Netherlands as a result of Covid-19.
Additionally, 14 people who were admitted into hospitals since March were determined to have been suffering from the coronavirus disease. To date, 11,627 people have been hospitalized with the viral infection.
The government is pushing another 13 billion euros into supporting entrepreneurs who are facing financial ruin due to the coronavirus crisis. The current package of emergency measures, which was set to expire on June 1, will be extended by three months, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Wednesday.
Health service GGD is working on scaling up test capacity and its manpower for source and contact investigations so that everyone with coronavirus symptoms can be tested from June onwards, and so that the lowest estimate of necessary Covid-19 contact tracing can be done, Sjaak de Gouw of the GGD said during a briefing in parliament on Thursday, NOS and NU.nl report.
One of the hard conditions the government's Outbreak Management Team set for lockdown measures to be relaxed, is large-scale testing and contact tracing.
According to an international model, 12.9 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands are Covid-19 related, RIVM director Jaap van Dissel said to parliament on Wednesday. That puts the Netherlands under Spain, Belgium, France, Italy and the United Kingdom when it comes to coronavirus mortality, NOS reports.
Rabobank expects that the coronavirus crisis will have a "significant" impact on the bank's profits for 2020. Income will be lower and the bank thinks it will have to set aside about 2 billion euros for bad loans, more than double the bank set aside last year, Rabobank said in an update on Wednesday, RTL NIeuws reports.
During his press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte called on the young people of the Netherlands to help think of how to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Youth organizations LAKS, FNV Young & United, and the national youth council NJR are pleased with this call and eager to join forces and respond thereto, they said.
The number of mortgages closed in the first quarter of 2020 grew by 22.8 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The average mortgage value also increased, management consultancy firm IG&H said on Wednesday. According to the firm, "this indicates that the Dutch mortgage market has not yet faced the inevitable downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic."
General practitioners will now prescribe blood thinners to patients who have or are suspected of having the coronavirus and are also at high risk of thrombosis. This is meant as a preventative to serious consequences of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, NOS reports.
It is plausible that there was a mink to human coronavirus infection in the Netherlands, Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture said. She did not say at which mink farm this happened. The chance of a mink infecting a human with the coronavirus was not considered high, the Minister said, NOS reports.
The number of Netherlands residents with paid work fell by 160 thousand to 8.9 million in April, Statistics Netherlands announced on Wednesday. Unemployment increased from 2.9 percent in March to 3.4 percent last month. Young people were most affected.
Both the decrease in working Dutch and the increase in unemployment were the biggest since the stats office started keeping track of monthly figures in 2003. This shows that unemployment is increasing faster in the coronavirus crisis than it did in the financial crisis that hit the world in 2008.
In a press conference Tuesday evening, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte reiterated the country's plans to gradually open up the Netherlands from its intelligent lockdown approach to the spread of coronavirus. As it leaked out earlier on Tuesday, Rutte confirmed that primary schools in the Netherlands will open up more widely from June 8, fitness centers will remain closed, and cafes may not open up their interiors until June 1.
Covid-19 restrictions may remain in place in the city of Amsterdam even after other parts of the Netherlands move closer to a full reopening, the city's mayor Femke Halsema said on Tuesday. This would be done with an eye toward preventing a rapid resurgence in Covid-19 infections in the city, which carries greater risks due to its urban density, she said.
"I’m sorry if I am putting a damper on the atmosphere, but we must realize how vulnerable we are," Halsema told the city council in a mixed in-person and video meeting on Tuesday afternoon, according to local broadcaster AT5.
Primary students in the Netherlands will likely return to their full schedules for the last few weeks of the school calendar, newspaper Telegraaf reported citing government sources. Students between the ages of 4 and 12 first returned to class on May 11, but at a reduced schedule where only half as many children were in schools at any given time.
For the first time since March 19, the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care in the Netherlands fell below 300. There were 293 people being cared for in ICU on Tuesday, a decrease of nine percent, with 30 fewer patients in intensive care compared to the previous day, according to patient coordination office LCPS.
Many healthcare workers still have to work with no personal protective equipment like masks and safety glasses, according to a poll by trade union FNV among 1,358 care workers. The lack of protective gear is greatest in nursing homes and home care, where 60 percent of workers don't have protection. A third of hospital workers work without protective gear, and a sixth of maternity care workers, RTL Nieuws reports.
There were 21 new fatal cases of Covid-19 reported in the Netherlands, including five deaths which took place on Monday, public health agency RIVM said. In total, 5,715 people are known to have died from the coronavirus disease to date.
The newly-reported deaths took place between April 22 and May 18. Among them were five more deaths added to Sunday's tally, doubling that figure to ten.
Discrimination reporting points throughout the Netherlands so far received a total of over 3 thousand reports of discrimination linked to the coronavirus. The vast majority of reports involve Asian people, or people with an Asian appearance, being discriminated against, Discriminatie.nl, the national association for anti-discrimination agencies in the Netherlands, said in a report.
While working on the approach to the coronavirus, the government should not only look at available hospital beds, but also at healthier lifestyles, researchers from TNO and Leiden University Medical Center said in a document signed by various hospitals and scientists. A healthy lifestyle is important to prevent complications from a virus infection and more attention and money should go into promoting this to limit the damage of a second or third coronavirus wave, the researchers said, Trouw reports.
The Dutch Heart Foundation teamed up with scientists, doctors and hospitals to study heart problems and the coronavirus. The researchers will look into whether people are at higher risk for heart problems after having Covid-19, as well as how to better treat people with pre-existing heart problems who contract the coronavirus, the Heart Foundation announced.