The hospitals have said that they do not need to take any more precautions
Translated by Alexis Veenendaal
The four hospitals in Friesland are prepared for the arrival of patients with COVID-19, or coronavirus. The preparations are ready and there are enough isolation rooms, but so far extra precautions have not been necessary, said Nina Lamsma, chair of the Infection Prevention Steering Group Friesland, and reported by the Leeuwarder Courant.
The group meets with the four Frisian hospitals, GGD Fryslân and microbiologists from the Izore medical laboratory every six weeks. The organisations met once more at the end of January following the outbreak of the virus in China and a number of infections in Europe.
“We wanted to see whether the current scenarios are still satisfactory, whether we are all well-informed about the symptoms and how communication is arranged”, said Lamsma. The Netherlands currently has no confirmed cases of the virus. “We are in the middle of an influenza period anyway, so we see many patients with flu-like symptoms, and they are always placed in isolation to prevent the virus from spreading as much as possible.”
Isolation rooms, therefore, are not kept especially clear for possible corona patients. “We are keeping a close eye on developments, and following the advice of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). As soon as it is necessary, we will keep them free, but that is not yet the case.”
GGD Fryslân has informed the GPs in the province, too. The health service posted a message on its site on Monday advising people to contact their doctor if they have a fever (at least 38 degrees centigrade) and cough or are short of breath. The complaints must have arisen while they have been in mainland China for the past two weeks, or have been in contact with a patient with the new coronavirus.
The fact that the virus has now claimed its first victims in Italy is not causing too much unrest in Friesland. The MCL hospital did receive a few phone calls from people who retuned from a winter sports holiday in Italy. “They wanted to know where they can get a corona test,” says spokesperson Frits Mostert. “We have sent them the RIVM directive. That recommends calling the doctor. We give that advice to every patient who returns from another country with a cough.”
The Frisian tour operators Dalstra and Paulusma have not yet received any troubled calls from people who have booked a trip to Italy.