If you can, work from home, says PM

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The Coronavirus numbers continue to rise worldwide – according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of infected currently stands at close to 113 600. Europe has 15 000, and counting. In the Netherlands, North Brabant has been singled out by the Dutch government.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has advised anyone in the province who can work from home, to do so until, at least, next Monday, 16 March. People across the country have also been discouraged from shaking hands. This comes after many schools in the region were closed yesterday. Some primary schools in Eindhoven also had adjusted schedules.

Yesterday, the National Health Department (RVIM) announced that of the 321 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands, most – 134 – are in the province of Brabant. Of these, 18 are in and around Eindhoven.  Most of the people, 250, who have been diagnosed so far had travelled outside of the country, mostly to Italy.

Don’t go to northern Italy

Image credit: Dutch Department of Foreign Affairs

The Dutch Department of Foreign Affairs has announced that all of Italy poses a health risk to travellers.  The north of the country is in lock-down. That area is, therefore, designated code red. This code is usually reserved for war-torn countries.

People are strongly advised not to go there. People should only travel to the regions around the quarantined part of Italy if it is absolutely necessary. People can visit the Department of Foreign Affairs website for travel advice to other countries too.

The Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom, said in his daily press briefing yesterday, “It is certainly troubling that so many people and countries have been affected, so quickly. Now that the virus has a foothold in so many countries, the threat of a pandemic has become very real. But it would be the first pandemic in history that could be controlled. The bottom line is: we are not at the mercy of this virus.”

Anyone who suspects they may have picked up this virus, or have questions regarding this disease, should contact the RVIM on 0800 1351.

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