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08 Apr 2020 | 04:25 AM UTC

Netherlands: Country to reach 20,000 COVID-19 cases April 8 /update 7

Heath officials confirm 19,580 COVID-19 cases on April 8; further spread of the virus expected in the near term

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Event

As of Wednesday, April 8, at 08:27 (local time), the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) confirmed 777 new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases over a 24-hour period bringing the total nationwide number to 19,580. The country also recorded 2101 fatalities with 234 deaths recorded over the same time span. The most affected area remains the North Brabant province. Health officials recently stated that the number of people in intensive care unit (ICU) beds was approaching 1400 people, representing 160 percent of normal capacity, though the government expects less than a thousand people in ICU beds in the coming days.

Stay-at-home and social distancing measures are in place nationwide. Public gatherings are suspended until Monday, June 1, and public spaces such as museums, theaters, and gyms, are closed until Thursday, April 28.

 Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question.It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands. 
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.