Four more Dutch people returned to The Netherlands on Sunday after they were extracted from Wuhan, China over coronavirus concerns. Two Chinese relatives of the Dutch passengers also arrived on the flight, which landed at Eindhoven Air Base.
Fifteen Dutch and two Chinese spouses who were evacuated from the city of Wuhan - the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak - arrived safely at Eindhoven Airport around midnight, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter. The group departed from Wuhan during the early hours of Sunday morning, arrived in France at around 2:00 p.m., and then traveled to the Netherlands, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch people who will be extracted from the Chinese city of Wuhan over the weekend will be allowed to spend the two weeks long quarantine period - to make sure they are not infected with the new coronavirus - in their own home in the Netherlands, provided that their home is suitable for this, the Dutch embassy in China informed them by email, NOS reports.
The embassy initially warned that the Dutch may have to be quarantined in another European country - the country they first landed in. But that now seems not to be necessary, according to the email.
A total of 18 Dutch in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter for the new coronavirus, reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they want to be evacuated from the country, Minister Stef Blok confirmed. Exactly when this evacuation will happen, is not yet clear. The Dutch embassy in China warned Dutch in the area that they may have to spend 14 days in quarantine in another EU country.
KLM began canceling its direct flights to China due to the outbreak of coronavirus 2019-CoV, the Dutch airline announced on Wednesday. All direct flights between Schiphol Airport and Chengdu and Hangzhou were scrapped beginning January 30, as were all nonstop flights to Xiamen starting Friday.
The airline also reduced its schedule to Shanghai from 11 flights weekly down to seven. The reduced schedule is in effect through February 29.
Dutch schools should cancel their exchange programs with China in the coming months due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Globi, an organization that helps with organizing exchange projects, advised on Wednesday. So far three people in the Netherlands have been tested for infection with coronavirus 2019-CoV, but all tests have come back negative, public health institute RIVM confirmed to NU.nl.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for China on Monday night, warning that travelers should avoid the Hubei province except in cases of emergencies. The ministry cautioned that China has implemented many new and far-reaching measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. "This leads to significant consequences throughout China and limits possibilities for transport, tourism and daily life," the Ministry said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently investigating the possibility of evacuating 20 Dutch people from the Chinese city of Wuhan due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, a spokesperson for the Ministry confirmed to news wire ANP. The Netherlands residents in the city were informed by the embassy in Beijing on Monday morning.
The Dutch national institute of public health RIVM is readying an Outbreak Management Team in response to the new Coronavirus outbreak in China. Experts will be meeting at the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports on Friday to discuss the virus and whether measures need to be taken, the Telegraaf reports.
Such a meeting is relatively standard procedure when new viruses appear in the world, the Ministry said. Similar meetings were held after the outbreak of SARS and MERS, among others. Officials and experts will continue to consult throughout next week.
The Dutch health authorities as yet see no reason to erect a quarantine zone at Schiphol airport due to the outbreak of the new Coronavirus in China. Dutch airline KLM is also not taking any additional measures as yet, the airline said in a statement to passengers on Wednesday morning.
According to the European center for disease control ECDC, the chance of the Coronavirus coming to Europe is small. In addition, there are no direct flights between the Netherlands and Wuhan - the Chinese province with the most Corona infections.