According to a mathematical calculation made by the Municipal and Regional Health Service, there could be up to 6000 cases of coronavirus in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has been slow in its response to the coronavirus, and there are concerns that the real numbers of infections is higher than the actual one reported by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), reports RTL Nieuws.
The reason why the actual number of infections is higher than the measured one is that some people develop only mild flu-like symptoms and therefore do not go out to get tested for the coronavirus. Another reason is that in some regions only people over 70 with serious symptoms are being tested, owing to a lack of testing kits.
Schools should stay open
Van de Gouw, the representative of the Municipal and Regional Health Service (GGD) in cabinet consultations about the coronavirus, argues that schools should remain open. The reasoning is that closing schools will have a high social impact, despite the large number of infections in the country.
According to him, any measures need to be considered in the context that they might last until the summer holiday. Can a country handle that? Besides that, one needs to consider the relationship between the spread of the virus and social and economic effects, whether or not potential measures will stop the spreading, and if the measures are realistic if they must go on for months at end.
Editorial note: more schools are closing anyways. The cabinet has also stated that there won’t be any fines and such if you keep your kids at home. Furthermore, there’s another crisis meeting on this matter today again, so this might all change.
Higher risks for children outside of school
De Grouw considers that children are at a higher risk of getting infected outside of school rather than at school. Furthermore, if current measures will be implemented successfully, the reproduction number of the virus (the number of people that get infected by one sick individual) will drop to below one. Currently, without any measures, that number is two.
As such, the GGD considers it is not yet necessary to close down schools, shops and bars.
Municipalities are asking for help in combating the virus
Throughout the country, different municipalities are asking for help, as they lack resources such as protective equipment, beds, insulation and quarantine areas. They’ve asked the Ministry of Defence to provide help in that regard. Especially if the real number of infections is 6000, it’s important that all preparations are taken so that the healthcare system does not get overwhelmed with the number of cases.
Check out our coronavirus guide and video
We’ve compiled a guide with all you need to know about the coronavirus in the Netherlands. You can also check out our video for any other info you need to know about the virus.