In December 2019, an outbreak of a new disease was reported in Wuhan, China. This novel coronavirus is also known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease it can cause is called coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. Most patients have a fever and respiratory symptoms. Measures are being taken in the Netherlands and worldwide to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.

Questions about the novel coronavirus? Please contact 0800-1351 or 

+31 (0)20 205 1351 (this number can be reached from abroad)

Available daily from 8:00 a.m. until 22:00 p.m. 

Information from the Dutch Government about COVID-19 can be found on

Measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus COVID-19

By coughing and sneezing, a person transmits the virus through his nose, throat or lungs. The virus gets into the air through small droplets. If other people inhale these droplets or transfer them via their hands in their mouth, nose or eyes, for example, they can become infected with the virus. 

What you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

Wash your hands with soap regularly 
Cough and sneeze on the inside of your elbow
Use paper tissues 
No handshaking
Stay at home with symptoms of the common cold or flu
Limit social contacts
Keep sufficient distance (1.5m) from each other

Novel coronavirus patients

On 27 February 2020, the first patient was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in the Netherlands. Since then, more patients have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The novel coronavirus had emerged earlier in several European countries and globally.  

For the current number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands click here.

Click here for real-time data on the novel coronavirus spread across the world

Symptoms novel coronavirus

Patients infected with the novel coronavirus have a fever (38c) and respiratory symptoms, such as a cough and shortness of breath. The novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously known in humans.


COVID-19 is transmitted from human to human. At this time, it is assumed that one sick person can infect 2 other persons on average. The sicker a person becomes, the more likely he is to spread the virus. 

Dutch approach

In the Netherlands, one of our main priorities is to ensure that the hospitals, nursing homes and home care services are not overwhelmed, so there is always enough capacity in our healthcare system. In addition, we want to protect vulnerable groups. Various approaches have been considered for how our country can respond to the spread of the virus. Read more on how the Netherlands is responding to the coronavirus here.

Protocol of action

When an infection is confirmed, the protocol for action in the Netherlands is isolation, contact investigation and monitoring of the patient. The Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) tracks down the patients' contacts and monitors all contacts to minimise the chance of the disease spreading.  Fourteen laboratories in the Netherlands are testing patients who are suspected of having the coronavirus. This test can only be requested by the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) or a hospital.  All GGD's and hospitals are informed about the protocols in place, describing how to take care of a patient and what measures should be taken. 

What does RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment do?

RIVM advises the Dutch government on tackling the novel coronavirus. Dutch infectious disease specialists are informed by RIVM on the state of affairs and developments concerning the novel coronavirus. 

RIVM monitors the situation with international partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Center for Disease Protection and Control (ECDC). In the Netherlands, General Practitioners, infectious disease specialists, GGD and microbiological laboratories all work together to combat infectious diseases, such as the novel coronavirus. 


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs keeps a close eye on the situation abroad. Please check for the latest travel advice the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Should you stay at home or call your GP?

Do you have symptoms of a cold, or a fever of up to 38.0 degrees Celsius?

If so, stay at home, allow the illness to run its course and make sure that you do not infect others. You should therefore distance yourself from other people. You do not need to call your GP. Your symptoms are mild.

Are your symptoms worsening?

  • a fever (more than 38 degrees Celsius) and difficulty of breathing and in need of medical assistance?

Call your GP or the out-of-hours medical centre