The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has urged the Dutch government to impose 2G measures after a partial lockdown, reports the NOS.
While a three-week partial lockdown is expected to be announced at the press conference tonight, much controversy surrounds the introduction of 2G.
2G measures mean you could only obtain a valid QR code with a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery. Unvaccinated people would no longer have access to events or other aspects of public life — even if they have a negative PCR test.
“Very plausible” that 2G would lower infections
According to epidemiologist Frits Rosendaal from the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), it’s likely that 2G measures would bring infections down from the past weeks spiralling numbers. He also says that this would lessen the burden on hospitals.
Similarly, modellers from TU Delft calculated that the introduction of 2G measures would bring down the number of infections at events by 25%. Their model predicts that hospitalisations would fall by as much as 94%.
About the study: The TU Delft calculations are based on a fictitious event taking place when there’s a high rate of infections in society. “Participants” had an average age distribution and 75% of them were vaccinated.
To what extent the 2G measures would lower the number of hospitalisations depends partially on peoples’ age. At events with many elderly people present, the effects would be much greater — since they have a higher chance of ending up in hospital.
However, Rosendaal says drawing an age limit for when 2G measures would apply isn’t viable. “You run the risk of getting into an endless discussion, just like a half-hearted lockdown.”
Exclusion of unvaccinated people
The 2G measures would exclude unvaccinated people from public life. Professor of medical ethics Mariëtte van den Hoven from Amsterdam University Medical Centre stresses that unvaccinated people are unfairly lumped together as one group. According to her, it’s important “to pay attention to diversity in society.”
Van den Hoven reminds us that “Among the unvaccinated are also people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. It’s taking it too far to exclude them all.”
An alternative model: 1G
The modellers from TU Delft have also studied the potential effects of introducing 1G measures. This would mean everyone (whether vaccinated, recovered, or unvaccinated) would have to get tested to obtain a QR code.
In this scenario, infections would decrease by as much as 74% — much more than with the discussed 2G measures. However, there wouldn’t be a significant lowering of hospital admissions compared to 2G: 74% compared to 94%.
Since 1G would prevent more infections than 2G, the number of hospitals admissions would, however, decrease further in the long run.
Currently, there are no known discussions of introducing 1G measures at a governmental level. 2G might soon be a reality, though.
What do you think of the prospect of 2G measures in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature Image: Mircea Moira/Depositphotos