Netherlands reports 8 new coronavirus deaths, pressure on PM to close schools

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-15 23:35:52|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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THE HAGUE, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Eight more people died of the novel coronavirus in The Netherlands, bringing the death toll to 20, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) announced on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a total of new 176 Dutch patients tested positive to COVID-19, with the confirmed cases standing now at 1,135. RIVM director Hans Brug said that not everyone with mild symptoms is being tested anymore and the total number of infected patients is probably higher.

The Dutch government meets with the Dutch Federation of Medical Specialists, hospital organizations and the RIVM on Sunday to discuss the latest developments. They might decide to close the schools as the pressure to close all schools amid the coronavirus crisis is rising in the Netherlands.

The Federation of Medical Specialists had called on the cabinet to close all schools immediately to prevent the current spreading of the virus.

Last Thursday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the closure of school was not necessary yet as he stated that children are less likely to spread the virus than adults.

More organizations are calling on the government to act to deal with pandemic crisis. The trade union FNV for the catering industry, the flower auctions, the aviation and travel industry already sounded the alarm as their financial conditions become worse.

Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said that everything will be done to keep airline KLM and airport Amsterdam Schiphol standing. "We can do that, because public finances are doing very well," Hoekstra said in the TV program Buitenhof.