King Willem-Alexander (right) visiting the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport VWS to be informed about the ministry’s coordinating role in the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis on Friday, April 3. During his visit the King also participated in a video conference with the Crisis Team Caribbean Netherlands. (RCN photo)
THE HAGUE--King Willem-Alexander paid a working visit to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport VWS in The Hague on account of the ministry’s role in the crisis coordination due to coronavirus COVID-19.
The King started his visit at the Public Health Directorate, which is responsible for the crisis organisation during the outbreak of infectious diseases and disasters.
The directorate has been working on this since the first outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Early February this was scaled up to interdepartmental cooperation under the umbrella of the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism NCTV.
The King spoke with crisis-team employees about their experiences and then visited the Curative Care Directorate where he spoke with team members who continuously work on the upscaling of the intensive-care capacity and the procurement of respiratory equipment in the Netherlands.
He also spoke with employees who maintain contact with the National Coordination Centre Patient Spread LCPS in Rotterdam.
The Long-Term Care Directorate provided insight into the programme for vulnerable people. This programme focuses on the safeguarding of sufficient care capacity for the most vulnerable people and the reduction of risks for people with bad health. Examples thereof are the safeguarding of healthcare capacity and the support of social initiatives to connect people.
At the Medicines and Medical Technology Directorate the King was informed of the availability of medicines in this crisis situation.
He also participated in the daily video conference between the VWS Crisis Team Caribbean Netherlands and the teams in Bonaire and St. Eustatius.
The Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands Programme Directorate ZJCN is responsible for the policy, organisation and implementation of care in Bonaire, Saba and Statia. The Directorate also supports Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten in their approach to the corona crisis.
The King’s working visit was concluded with a short meeting with officials at the VWS Ministry and members of the Executive Board.
Via telephone, and, where possible, during working visits King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are informed of the consequences of the corona outbreak. They expressed their support and appreciation for the commitment of so many in the prevention of the pandemic, the National Department Caribbean Netherlands RCN said.