More people in the Netherlands are getting infected with coronavirus again. Also in North Brabant, the province which houses Eindhoven.
These are infections that have often been contracted indoors, according to the Dutch Health Department. People who are in contact with family, friends or co-workers, are getting sick. “This worries us,” said the chairmen of the regional safety councils in a press statement.
A local newspaper reports that the source and contact research at the province’s health departments show a concerning trend. Many people who are tested for the coronavirus don’t stay home until they get their results. That’s against the current advice.
“Our staff regularly talk to people on the phone who are in town after such a test, Annemieke van der Zijden, director of public health at the West Brabant Municipal Health Service says. “Or who are visiting friends, or at work.”
However, according to Minister Ferd Grapperhaus, the Dutch government isn’t going to take any additional measures now that the number of infections is increasing. A different local paper reported this. “But, we need to be extra vigilant now and stick to the rules.” Grapperhaus is the Minister of Justice and Security.
These rules are:
- Keep a distance of 1.5m from each other (unless you’re under 18 or part of the same household)
- Stay home if you feel unwell. Get tested and wait at home for the results.
- Sneeze and cough in the crook of your arm
- Keep washing your hands
People should also remember to wear masks on public transport and avoid crowded spaces, especially indoors. But, the importance of these anti-corona rules must be much better communicated. That’s according to several infectious disease experts, says NOS.
Must reach youngsters
NOS is a major Dutch broadcasting organisation. “Most of (these experts) regularly sit on the National Health Department’s Outbreak Management Team. According to them, it’s particularly important to reach young adults.”
The majority of people being infected now are in their twenties, reports NOS. “Especially young people infect each other,” reads an article in OmroepBrabant. “In more and more places, the 1.5m rule seems to have been forgotten.”
According to Dr Erik Matser, there’s a great need to speak to young people in their own language about the danger of coronavirus. Matser is a neuropsychologist at the West Brabant Municipal Health Service. “People have to understand that this pandemic is like a sleeping tiger.”
‘Don’t wake the tiger’
“You have to tip-toe past it. And if you wake it up, we’re going to have an even worse crisis than the first one,” Matser says.
Mayors Jack Mikkers of Den Bosch, John Jorritsma of Eindhoven, and Theo Weterings of Tilburg, therefore, made an urgent new appeal: “Don’t let up your guard.” These men are also chairmen of the three regional safety councils.
“Hang in there. Also during these holidays. Even after all this time,” they say, “Keep using your common sense.”
Prime Minister’s tweet
Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirms this in a tweet, “As the number of infections rises again, we need to be extra vigilant. The Cabinet will also keep a firm finger on the pulse (even) during the recess.” According to Minister Grapperhaus, mayors may have to intervene locally if people keep flouting the anti-corona measures.
“We don’t know what the situation will be like in Brabant or the Netherlands in two weeks or two months. We do know that the development of the last week shouldn’t continue,” the mayors say.
Translator: Melinda Walraven