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Watch: Dutch PM Rutte bans handshaking and then... shakes hands

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Dutch PM Mark Rutte shakes hands after delivering a speech in which he told citizens to stop handshakes to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Dutch PM Mark Rutte shakes hands after delivering a speech in which he told citizens to stop handshakes to prevent the spread of COVID-19   -   Copyright  AP
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This is the embarrassing moment Mark Rutte banned the Dutch from handshakes... before promptly shaking someone's hand.

"From this moment on, we stop shaking hands," said the Netherlands' prime minister, outlining measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"You can do a foot kiss, bump elbows, whatever you want. I see at schools all kinds of great variations on shaking hands emerging, but from today we stop shaking hands."

He then turned to the head of the infectious diseases department at the Dutch National Public Health Institute Jaap van Dissel and shook his hand.

"Sorry, sorry, we can't do that any more!" Rutte reminded himself. "Do it again!"

The second time, they bumped elbows.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.