Dutch coronavirus cases rise by 1,019 to 7,431: authorities

FILE PHOTO: Restaurants and bars have closed their doors in response to a rapidly expanding of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rotterdam, Netherlands March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands rose by 1,019, or 16%, to 7,431, health authorities said on Wednesday.

The Netherlands National Institute for Health (RIVM) said in its daily update on the outbreak there were 78 new deaths registered in the past day, bringing the total to 434.

“The number of patients in hospital and the number of deaths is rising less quickly than you would expect if no measures (to slow the spread of the virus) had been taken,” the RIVM said.

“This could possibly point to the measures having had an influence on the speed of the spread of the virus.”

It said it expected to be able to say with more certainty by the end of this week.

The Dutch government ordered social distancing measures, school closures and a ban on public gathering over the course of several days in mid March.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Alison Williams

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