Monday 13 July 2020

Dutch coronavirus death toll rises by 26, experts dash gym reopening hopes


The official Dutch death toll from coronavirus rose by 26 to 5,856 on Tuesday as the impact of the weekend was fully incorporated into the figures.

A further 10 people were admitted to hospital, taking the total number of past and present coronavirus patients to 11,690, while a further 133 people tested positive for the disease.

The figures come just five days before testing is opened up to everyone who has symptoms, without a doctor’s referral. The system has capacity for 30,000 tests a day, and the results will be available within 24 hours.

Experts say between 2% and 5% of all tests will be positive, which means officials will have to start upwards of 600 contact tracing projects on a daily basis.

Most deaths, new cases and hospital admissions are now in the port city of Rotterdam, the AD said on Tuesday, on the basis of figures from the public health institute RIVM.


Meanwhile, government experts are reluctant to sanction the earlier opening of sports schools and gyms, sources have told broadcaster NOS.

They are not scheduled to reopen until September 1, but prime minister Mark Rutte said last week that he would ask for advice about an earlier opening.

Questions about ventilation are one of the major issues, and there is increasing evidence that the aerosol effect, which enables coronavirus to drift through the air in microscopic droplets, is a major problem in closed spaces, particularly gyms where people pant and sweat.

A petition signed by 120,000 people calling for sports schools to be allowed to reopen was handed to MPs on Tuesday.

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