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Dutch coronavirus death toll hits 106, almost 3,000 have tested positive

The Dutch death toll from coronavirus has leapt by 30 to 106 overnight, according to Friday’s update from the public health institute RIVM. In total, 2,994 people have now tested positive for the virus, of whom 725 work in healthcare, where they are more likely to be screened. The number of people who are, or who have been, hospitalised rose to 643. Noord-Brabant continues to have far more infections than any other province, with the total positive tests now hitting 1012. Zuid-Holland is home to 405 positive tests, Limbur 366 and Noord-Holland 353. King Willem-Alexander will make a televised address to the nation on Friday evening as the coronavirus crisis in the Netherlands deepens. The speech will be broadcast across both public and commercial channels and can also be followed in sign language. will also follow the speech on Twitter.

The king and his family have been in social isolation since their return from their annual skiing holiday. Five cases of coronavirus had been identified in the Austrian resort of Lech where the family were staying and the source of those infections had not been traced, hence the decision to stay home. Meanwhile the government has announced the closure of all nursing homes to visitors in an effort to stop coronavirus taking hold and to protect staff.

Arrangements will be made to allow family members to visit people who are dying. ‘It is important to be able to say goodbye properly,’ acting health minister Hugo de Jonge said. ‘This can be organised sensibly.’ Prime minister Mark Rutte has again urged people to remember to keep their distance from others while outside. ‘I see all these groups of people in parks, having a good time or doing sport,’ he said. ‘You can do this, but keep your distance.

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