On Tuesday, April 21, Dutch authorities announced an additional three-month extension to a ban on major public events, including professional sports and music festivals, until Tuesday, September 1, due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns. The ban was originally due to expire on Monday, June 1. The latest extension comes after Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned that relaxing social distancing restrictions too quickly could lead to a second wave of infections of the virus.
Additionally, public spaces such as museums, theaters, and gyms will remain closed until at least Tuesday, April 28. Primary schools and daycare centers, however, are scheduled to reopen from Monday, May 11. Stay-at-home and social distancing measures remain in place nationwide and have been extended through Wednesday, May 20, with the possibility of further extensions.
As of Tuesday, April 21, authorities have confirmed 34,317 COVID-19 cases nationwide, with 3929 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question.It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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