THE HAGUE: The Dutch medical care minister resigned on Thursday after collapsing from what he said was exhaustion during a debate in parliament on the coronavirus outbreak.
Bruno Bruins, whose responsibilities included dealing with the pandemic, fainted while standing at a lectern in parliament on Wednesday night and had to be helped to his feet.
“The king has granted this resignation in the most honourable manner … with gratitude for the many and important services rendered” by Bruins, said a royal palace statement.
Bruins had said on Wednesday that he had “suffered from faintness from exhaustion and intensive weeks”, but that he was feeling better and would return to work.
The government of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been under pressure over what critics called an initially slow response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Rutte has since ordered schools, bars and restaurants shut to respond to the crisis. The Netherlands has reported 2,460 cases including 76 deaths.
The prime minister went to a supermarket on Thursday to promise Dutch people that there would be no shortages of one key commodity: toilet paper.
“We have enough … we can all poop for 10 years,” Rutte said.
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