This is how the Netherlands is preparing in case of a coronavirus outbreak

As Italy continues to battle an outbreak of COVID-19, and patients are detected in Switzerland, Austria, and Croatia, the Netherlands is preparing for a potential pandemic.

A special team has been formed at the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the public health service GGD, dedicated to dealing with an outbreak if one occurs, reports RTL Nieuws.

The team, composed of scientists and doctors specialised in combating infectious diseases, will be responsible for advising the Ministry of Health on how best to deal with an outbreak. We have our gripes with the Dutch health system, but we’re pretty happy to hear this.

How will infected people be dealt with?

Dutch pandemic protocol says that as soon as there is a pandemic identified the following will happen:

  • There will be special quarantine places where infected patients are cared for
  • There will be rules for the treatment of patients
  • There will be criteria for who is admitted to hospital and who is not
  • As soon as there is a vaccine, it will be decided who will be the first to receive it

The last pandemic to hit the Netherlands was the Mexican flu, H1N1, in 2009-2010. It’s believed the flu caused 60 deaths in the Netherlands, and 17,000 worldwide.

What are hospitals doing to prepare?

Hospitals will also have to prepare for an influx of patients. Quarantine facilities with space for around 50-60 people will be put in place, depending on how popular the region is. Patients will typically be admitted to the region where they live.

Will schools and events be cancelled?

To be honest, probably not — but it is possible. If the coronavirus is detected in the Netherlands certain places and regions may be closed in an attempt to prevent further contamination. But, virologist Ann Vossen doesn’t expect it will come to that.

“That is not the way in which we deal with diseases in the Netherlands. In any case, it is not something that we have dealt with in over fifty years.”

Are you stressed about a potential outbreak of COVID-19? Think the Netherlands is well-prepared? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. 

Feature Image: Leo2014/Pixabay

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Samantha Dixon
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

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