The first person in the Netherlands to get COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus, celebrated carnival last weekend. He is from Loop op Zand, near Tilburg, in the south of the Netherlands.
Where is the first Dutch coronavirus patient now?
The man is 56 years old, and decided to go to hospital himself, after visiting Milan, Italy, recently, where there is a significant outbreak of the virus, NOS reports. Hospital staff soon realised that there was a possibility that the man in question had been infected with COVID-19. They tested him twice for the virus- which protocol requires to avoid false positives- and definitely has it. He was admitted to Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg on Wednesday, and is staying there in isolation. According to Mayor Weterings of Tilburg, he seems to be doing well.
Will there be more coronavirus cases in the Netherlands?
Now, anyone who has been paying attention to the south of the Netherlands recently knows that last weekend was carnival: a very strange Dutch celebration in which people dress up, listen to aggressively country music, and drink in huge crowds on the street. Unfortunately, it seems that this man also celebrated carnival last weekend, both in Tilburg and in Loop op Zand. Accordingly, there is a possibility that more people have been infected. Worried locals have been sharing carnival photos in a WhatsApp group in an effort to determine where the man was, and who might have been infected by him.
How is the Netherlands dealing with coronavirus? And should I still go to Tilburg?
Jaap van Dissel of the RIVM has nothing but effusive praise for how the hospital in Tilburg responded: “The hospital quickly recognised the virus and acted appropriately.” According to the RIVM, there is a good chance that the patient contracted the virus in Milan on his visit there, where over 650 people have been infected, with 17 fatalities.
The local Tilburg government has expressed its sympathies with the man and his family, and continues to assess what needs to be done from moment to moment. There has been no statement from the local authorities about whether people should travel to Tilburg or not. According to Prime Minister Rutte, the most important thing is for medical staff to have every resource available to them to deal with the arrival of coronavirus in the Netherlands.
Wait, what’s coronavirus again?
For those of you who have been living under a rock- which admittedly is a good strategy in these infectious times- COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China in late December last year. Since then it has spread to more than fifty other countries, and caused more than 2800 deaths. Coronavirus is a form of viral pneumonia, meaning that it does not respond to antibiotics. Medical authorities across the world, including the RIVM in the Netherlands, have advised people to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, and cough and sneeze into a tissue or their elbow.
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