The number of people in the Netherlands who have tested positive for coronvavirus rose to 614 on Thursday, an overnight increase of 111, public health institute RIVM said in its latest update.
In total, 102 of the cases are healthcare workers, the RIVM said. The agency has run a special testing programme among healthcare staff in Brabant who have mild symptoms in an effort to establish how widespread coronavirus is.
Most of the cases – 273 – are located in Noord-Brabant province, where officials are still trying to establish the sources of the infection. In total, 86 people are or have been hospitalised.
Government ministers are meeting healthcare officials in a second crisis session on Thursday afternoon, and are reportedly discussing what further measures to take to contain the spread of the disease.
Patients who picked up the virus in northern Italy account for 193 cases, while 26 have been traced to Austria. The source of 123 infections remains unknown.
Officials have been quick to stress that the number of positive tests does not reflect the true extent of the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands.
‘There are probably far more people with slight symptoms who are at home and are not included,’ says Sjaak de Gouw, of the Dutch public health board GGD. In 80% of cases the symptoms are mild. Only people who have a temperature are being advised to contact their doctor.
More to follow
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