At the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, bad news dominates the front page of NU.nl more often than usual. Nevertheless, there is also positive news about the coronavirus to report. That is why we make an overview of this a few times a week.

Confidence in developing working vaccine

Head of viral vaccines Hanneke Schuitemaker of pharmaceutical company Janssen says that it cannot offer any guarantees, but is very confident that the company is currently developing a working vaccine against the corona virus.

On Monday it was announced that the Leiden pharmaceutical company has chosen a vaccine from ten options. Based on animal experiments, this vaccine had the most positive result and can also be produced on a large scale.

See also: Leiden pharmaceutical company: 'First results of corona vaccine are really positive'

Harry Potter at home

JK Rowling introduced the Harry Potter at Home project on Wednesday. The project should "bring some magic" during the lockdown. Visitors to the website receive free access to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone , the first book in the series.

The website also provides access to assignments, craft videos, quizzes, puzzles and articles.

See also: JK Rowling introduces Harry Potter at Home due to corona crisis

Dogs and cats are forbidden to eat in the Chinese city of Shenzhen

It is forbidden to eat dogs and cats in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. The ban is part of a package of measures aimed at suppressing wildlife trade in China. Scientists suspect that the COVID-19 virus has passed from animals to humans.

Chinese President Xi Jinping already banned the sale and consumption of wildlife in late February, but Shenzhen is the first Chinese city to extend that ban to the consumption of dogs and cats.

See also: Shenzhen is the first Chinese city to ban the eating of dogs and cats

Thousands of students receive a laptop for home education

More than 6,800 students in primary, secondary and secondary vocational education will receive a laptop this week to work from home. Now that the schools are closed, they can follow classes at home.

The Ministry of Education has allocated 2.5 million euros for the purchase of the laptops. "All students deserve good education. Even in times of crisis and regardless of their parents' wallets," said Minister Arie Slob (Primary and Secondary Education) in a statement.

See also: 6,800 students without a computer are given a laptop to work at home

Deferred taxation for entrepreneurs expanded and digitized

Entrepreneurs and self-employed persons who are in financial difficulties due to the corona crisis can apply for deferment of payment for more types of taxes than previously arranged. Postponements can now also be granted until 19 June.

Moreover, the postponement can be requested online instead of by letter, the Ministry of Finance announced.

See also: Tax deferral for entrepreneurs expanded and digitized

Helpline for healthcare workers

The Institute for Psychotrauma (ARQ IVP) has opened a national helpline for healthcare personnel who need psychosocial support because of the corona crisis. The call center is staffed seven days a week by specialist psychologists.

Many healthcare workers experience heavy mental pressure these weeks due to the long and intensive working days. In particular, caregivers in intensive care (IC) frequently report that they feel they have lost control due to the pressure and stress.

See also: Psychologists' umbrella opens helpline for healthcare workers

Corona patient leaves hospital in Zwolle under applause

A man was released on Wednesday from the Isala hospital in Zwolle. After an ICU admission, he left the corona patients' ward with loud applause.

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Corona patient leaves hospital in Zwolle under applause

Cruise ships MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam docked in Florida

MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam are docked in the port of Fort Lauderdale in the US state of Florida. The cruise ship MS Zaandam has been looking for a place to moor for some time. The ship was previously refused by Chile, the original final destination.

On board the ship, which also had twenty Dutchmen, infections with the coronavirus had been detected. Four passengers, including a Dutchman, have died. MS Rotterdam has taken over some passengers and sailed to Florida together with the MS Zaandam.

See also: Cruise ships MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam docked in port Florida

Follow the latest developments around the virus in our live blog.

The coronavirus in short

  • The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person via sneezing and cough drops. The chance of becoming infected through surfaces such as door handles is small. This chance decreases if you wash your hands often.
  • You can considerably reduce the chance of spreading by keeping at least 1.5 meters away from others.
  • The corona measures have resulted in an infected person infecting less than one other person on average. Previously, this so-called reproduction number was between two and three.
  • The vast majority of patients have mild (flu-like) complaints.
  • Almost all deaths involve the elderly or other vulnerable persons, such as heart, lung or diabetes patients. If everyone complies with the measures, this reduces their risks.
  • Read here what precautions you should take.