An 86-year-old man who was hospitalised in the Ikazia hospital Rotterdam with COVID-19 has died. The source of infection of the patient remains unknown. This is the first patient in the Netherlands who has died from an infection with the novel coronavirus.

After it was confirmed that the patient was infected with COVID-19, the patient was treated in isolation. The hospital and the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) have tracked down the patient's contacts (visitors and healthcare providers) and checked whether they have any symptoms. All contacts of the patients who have symptoms of the common cold virus or a fever were asked to stay at home. If necessary, they will be tested.

The novel coronavirus can spread to other close contacts through droplets from an infected person, for example by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms of the disease are a fever and respiratory complaints such as shortness of breath or coughing. Someone with a fever and respiratory symptoms, and who has been in an area where COVID-19 is widespread in the past 14 days can be tested for COVID-19.  This currently applies to the following countries: China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Singapore, South Korea, Iran and some provinces in Northern Italy (Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino South Tyrol, Friuli-Julian-Venice, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Liguria).