SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - On Friday afternoon April 3 His Majesty the King paid a working visit to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) in The Hague on account of the role in the crisis coordination due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
King Willem-Alexander 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. At the beginning of February this was scaled up to interdepartmental cooperation under the umbrella of the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV). The King spoke with employees of the crisis team about their experiences.
The King then visited the Curative Care Directorate where he spoke with members of the team that continuously works on the upscaling of the intensive care capacity and the procurement of respiratory equipment. 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 group of most vulnerable people and the reduction of the risks for people with weak health. Examples hereof are the safeguarding of capacity in the healthcare 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.
The King also participated in the daily video conference between the VWS Crisis Team Caribbean Netherlands and the teams on Bonaire and St. Eustatius. The Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands Programme Directorate (ZJCN) is responsible for the policy, the organisation and the implementation of care on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. The Directorate also supports the countries Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten in their approach of the corona crisis.
The working visit was concluded with a short meeting with the officials of the Ministry of VWS and the members of the Executive Board.
Through telephone conversations and, where possible, working visits King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are informed of the consequences of the corona outbreak and they express their support and appreciation for the commitment of so many in the prevention of the pandemic. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)