Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke confidently on Friday about the measures put in place by the Dutch government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 variant of coronavirus, but he said it was "crucial" that the public continue adhering to social distancing rules. The approaching weekend was expected to be mostly sunny and chilly, with similar weather the prior weekend convincing masses of people to abandon the national health advice and form crowds at popular nature sites.
The sudden change to structure and stress brought on by coronavirus Covid-19 and the measures taken to curb its spread may be leading to more domestic violence in the Netherlands. Both the National Psychotrauma Center at UMC Utrecht and children's hotline Kindertelefoon noticed a sharp increase in calls.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Netherlands' mayors are pleased with the new packet of measures the government implemented against the spread of the coronavirus on Monday. The new measures give them "clear rules" and the possibility to intervene.
The Dutch cabinet introduced three new regulations to fight the spread of coronavirus in the country, after a sunny weekend brought thousands of people to popular outdoor areas, defying the ban on groups of people gathered in one place and the advice that people keep at least a 1.5-meter distance from each other. The new rules include fines when members of the public disregard the regulations, and an order that no more than two people stand together within their 150-centimeter personal space.
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security was infuriated by people flocking to parks, beaches and forests in groups over the weekend. "This is embarrassing and completely wrong. Let me be clear about that," he said in an interview with EenVandaag on Sunday evening. "It is embarrassing to see people in healthcare working their fingers to the bone, and that 40 people are walking through a forest a little further away."
Some 43 coronavirus patients died in the Netherlands since Saturday, with the nation now mourning the loss of 179 people, public health agency RIVM said on Sunday. The agency also announced that another 573 tested positive for the virus, pushing the total number of diagnosed patients to 4,204, nearly four-times the number of patients recorded on March 15.
Just one week ago, the total number of patients in the Netherlands was 1,077. By that date, a total of 20 people who tested positive for the virus had died, a figure which has increased by 800 percent in the past seven days.
Thirty more people diagnosed with the coronavirus died in the Netherlands since Friday, raising the death toll to 136. The country's health agency said another 637 people tested positive for the virus, which raises the country's total to 3,631 since testing began in late February.
Patients requiring hospitalization also rose by 193 patients, health agency RIVM said. To date, 836 coronavirus patients were admitted to the hospital since testing started.
The National Police are impressed by how people in the Netherlands are generally following the rules and measures implemented due to the coronavirus outbreak. "Incidents can be counted on one hand. We can really appeal to people's common sense," Max Daniel, one of the four national police commanders coordinating police operations for the Covid-19 outbreak, said to Nieuwsuur.
The Red Cross is calling on people in the Netherlands to reach out to vulnerable people around them. According to the aid organization, many people are afraid and need someone to talk to. Meanwhile, the University Medical Center in Groningen (UMCG) is opening an outpatient clinic specifically for patients who may have the coronavirus Covid-19.
Dutch rail company NS is significantly reducing the number of trains running from Saturday, due to the coronavirus. From every station in the Netherlands, only two trains an hour will run in all directions, according to the new basic timetable. There will also be no night trains in the coming period, NU.nl reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is keeping the possibility open to temporarily halt public life in the Netherlands completely in the fight against the coronavirus. But, as the country's care capacity is still sufficient, such a lock down is not yet necessary, he said to NOS in response to criticism on the Dutch policy to strive for "herd immunity" against Covid-19.