May 19, 2024


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Netherlands to close schools, restaurants in coronavirus fight

THE HAGUE: The Netherlands will close all schools, cafes, restaurants and sport clubs nationwide, the government decided on Sunday (Mar 15), in its most far-reaching moves yet to curb the coronavirus epidemic.

READ: Top Dutch museums close over coronavirus

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Cabinet had initially resisted closing schools, but changed course after coming under pressure from educators and medical specialists.

Empty shelves are seen at a supermarket in Amsterdam

Shoppers browse near-empty shelves at a supermarket in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as people hoard food because of the coronavirus outbreak. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

National broadcaster NOS said the measure would take effect on Monday. Details were due to be announced at a government press conference on Sunday.

Rutte was scheduled to address the nation on Monday evening to explain the unprecedented measures.

Tourists are confronted with a closed Rijksmuseum

Tourists are confronted with a closed Rijksmuseum because of the coronavirus outbreak, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the Netherlands rose by 176 to 1,135 on Sunday, with 20 deaths, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said.

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