March 11, 2020 / 1:25 PM / 23 days ago

Dutch companies tell staff to stay home as coronavirus infections jump

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch bank ABN Amro and chipmachine maker ASML on Wednesday ordered large parts of their staff to start working from home, as the number of people infected with the coronavirus in the Netherlands jumped sharply.

ABN Amro said it had split its 14,000 Dutch employees in two groups, which will alternate between working at home and from the office a week at a time.

ASML said it had taken similar measures for around 10,000 employees in the Netherlands, effective from Thursday.

ASML’s main facilities are in the province of Noord-Brabant, which has the highest number of infections in the Netherlands, and so far is country’s only region where people have been advised to not attend large-scale public events.

The number of people infected with the coronavirus in the Netherlands increased by a third on Wednesday to 503, while fatalities rose from four to five.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; editing by John Stonestreet and Jane Merriman

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