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Dutch Prime Minister Tells People Not To Shake Hands Then Shakes Hands

Dutch Prime Minister Tells People Not To Shake Hands Then Shakes Hands

The Dutch Prime Minister told people not to shake hands in a bid to avoid spreading coronavirus (Covid-19) - then immediately shook a public health official's hand.

During a Monday evening news conference (9 March), Dutch PM Mark Rutte was live on TV when he called for an end to the popular greeting, saying: "From now on we stop shaking hands.

"You can foot-tap or elbow-bump, or whatever you can come up with. I see all kinds of great variations on shaking hands emerging at schools, but from today we stop shaking hands."

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As that sentence ended, he shook hands with Jaap van Dissel from the public health institute - who was quick to point out what he'd just done.

Mr van Dissel pointed out the mistake. Credit: Associated Press
Mr van Dissel pointed out the mistake. Credit: Associated Press

Mr Rutte immediately went on: "Sorry, sorry, we can't do that anymore. Do it again," before bumping elbows with Mr van Dissel then affectionately grabbing him around the neck.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands rose by 61 to 382, health officials said on Tuesday (10 March), as a large cluster was identified at a southern Dutch hospital.

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In addition to this, a study by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) suggested that almost four percent of hospital employees in Noord-Brabant (south of the Netherlands) have the new coronavirus.

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The latest update in the UK came yesterday afternoon (10 March) after the Department of Health and Social Care announced that a total of 26,261 people have been tested with 25,888 negative and 373 positive.

Last night it was reported the UK's Health Minister, Nadine Dorries, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Ms Dorries has released a statement, which said: "Public Health England has started detailed contact tracing and the department and my parliamentary office are closely following their advice."

She has also thanked the NHS for providing her with advice and support.

Six people have been confirmed to have died from Covid-19 in the UK, with the latest victim being a man in his 80s who had underlying health conditions.

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The virus has been disproportionately affecting the elderly population around the world, particularly in Italy.

It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our Coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on Coronavirus, click here.

Featured Image Credit: Associated Press

Topics: News, coronavirus

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]