As the Netherlands battles more than 2,000 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, Health Minister Bruno Bruins reached breaking point, collapsing during a meeting of the Dutch parliament.
Bruins has faced intense questioning in recent days over his party’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has killed almost 60 people in the Netherlands to date. Unlike some other European countries, the Netherlands only opted to close schools and daycare centers on Monday, and has yet to seal off its borders.
Grilled by opposition parliamentarian Geert Wilders on Wednesday, Bruins tottered on his feet and swayed from side to side before collapsing to the floor behind his lectern.
Video cameras caught the minister’s fall, and footage showed Bruins’ colleagues helping him to his feet for a glass of water.
While Bruins’ dramatic fall may bring to mind Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi mopping his sweaty brow on live television before his own Covid-19 diagnosis, the Dutch minister assured the public that he does not – to his knowledge – have the deadly illness.
“I fainted due to exhaustion,” he tweeted. “Now things are better again. I’m going home now to rest tonight so I can get back to work tomorrow to fight the #coronacrisis as well as possible.”
Wilders – a right-wing outlaw figure in Dutch politics – was blasted online for appearing to smile as Bruins keeled over. However, Wilders wished Bruins a speedy recovery, tweeting“get well soon,” and “have a good rest.”
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