Coronavirus update: 198 new cases as Amsterdam announces it might be the last city to reopen

The RIVM has published the latest count of coronavirus cases in the Netherlands, for May 20.

As of today, a further 198 cases have been detected in the country, bringing the total number of cases registered to 44,447.

In terms of the severity of some of the cases, a further 14 people have ended up in the hospital.

Unfortunately, another 33 people have passed away from the virus, with 5,748 total casualties ever since the outbreak began.

Youth unemployment skyrockets because of coronavirus

Unemployment has risen with unprecedented speed in April. Those who are most affected are young people with flexible contracts. The industries most affected by coronavirus- restaurants and cafes, the cultural sector, etc- are those in which young people tend to work, and they tend to do so under flexible contracts. That means that businesses are able to fire them, or give them no more hours, far more easily than more established employees. The government is due to release a second support package for affected industries this evening.

How the Dutch are expanding intensive care

Today, the Dutch House of Representatives will discuss the expansion of normal IC capacity in the Netherlands. Specialists propose a “lite” version, in which more ventilation and rehabilitation clinics should be implemented.Health minister Hugo de Jonge advocates for an increase in IC capacity from 1,250 to 1,700 beds. However, a number of nurses and other healthcare professionals argue that this idea is impossible to carry out due to staff shortages.

Amsterdam may be the last Dutch city to reopen

Based on the current statistics by the RIVM, there have been calls by certain political parties to reopen certain industries in Amsterdam, such as the catering industry, hospitality as well as the tourism industry. Mayor Halsema warns against this enthusiasm: “I hear you talking about international tourism, and I also know that there are 55,000 hotel beds waiting for guests. In the coming period, however, we must be extremely cautious about stimulating regional, national and international traffic. If we do that too excessively, we run the risk that Amsterdam will become a seat of fire in a second wave [of coronavirus infections].”

Last night’s press conference

This evening, Prime Minister Rutte and Minister for Health Hugo de Jonge gave a press conference about the Netherland’s future approach to coronavirus, and what we can expect from the upcoming relaxations of coronavirus regulations. There were no big surprises, just a few technicalities that were a little different from what was expected. As planned, public buildings, including cafes and restaurants, can reopen from 1 June at midday.

You can follow DutchReview on Facebook for more updates on coronavirus in the Netherlands. 

Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.


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