SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Dutch public health institute RIVM says the impact measures taken in the Netherlands to reduce the spread of coronavirus should be seen this week.
‘We think we are already seeing the first effects and that is hopeful,’ the RIVM’s Jacco Wallinga told broadcaster NOS. ‘But we have to see real change this week. Then everything will be a little clearer and we can see if we will make it.’
Wallinga bases his analysis on the number of hospital admissions. In the Netherlands, testing is only carried out on people with serious symptoms and does not give a true picture of the spread, here too there are marginal improvements.
The Netherlands said people should stop shaking hands on March 9, closed bars and cafes on March 13 and introduced the keep your distance rule and shut schools on March 15.
Health officials said on Sunday that 405 coronavirus patients are currently being treated in intensive care wards in Dutch hospitals, most of them in Noord-Brabant. There are 1,150 intensive care beds in the Netherlands, of which around half are being kept free for coronavirus patients.
Others are also being freed up as planned operations are postponed and nursing staff are being reallocated to intensive care units as pressure on ordinary wards is reduced. Convoys of patients are also being moved to other hospitals around the country.