The province has been busy with preparations, with no cases in the Netherlands yet reported
Translated by Thomas Ansell
With COVID-19 Coronavirus cases now having been found in Germany, the UK, and Belgium, Dutch provinces are steadily stepping up their preparedness plans in case of any infections in the Netherlands. Friesland, for example, is scrapping school-trips, making isolation rooms ready, and providing a public information campaign through the GGD (Gemeentelijke Gezondheidsdienst).
Once a patient that may have the virus makes themselves known to a GP or hospital, the information will immediately be registered with the GGD, who from this point forward will be contactable 24-hours per day. A GGD-doctor will then contact the patient, take a swab sample for diagnosis, and see who the patient may have been in contact with.
Once this has happened, the GGD will then share the news of the infection with the mayor, and the head of the ‘Veiligheidregio’ (‘Safety region’). In Friesland, that’s Mayor Sybrand Buma. With assistance from the national co-ordination centre, the GGD-doctor will be able to then suggest quarantine procedures.
Bart Maats, head of the GP’s association in Friesland, has said that both GP’s, and the public will receive information from the GGD (information for patients was uploaded on Wednesday). The advice says that anyone who has pain in their throat, or a cough, should telephone their GP. They should also contact a doctor if they have visited China, Singapore, South-Korea; Iran, or in some GGD areas Northern Italy.
Doctors assistants will also ask questions about whether a patient has visited any virus-hit places. “If we think that a patient is likely to have the virus, they must first stay home”, says Maats. This is being done so that people do not spread the virus amongst others at the doctors surgery.
All of the hospitals in the region have made isolation-rooms available, and have protocols ready. Meanwhile, the Leeuwarder Lyceum and Piter Jelles !mpulse schools have cancelled their trips to Naples, and the CSG Liudger in Drachten has postponed a trip to Rome.