Experts fear public health is at risk in Amsterdam

As coronavirus cases skyrocket and the GGD continues to struggle with a backlog in testing, experts now fear that public health is at risk in Amsterdam.

The city has had some of the highest numbers of coronavirus cases over the past few weeks. While the Netherlands has seen a nationwide spike in coronavirus cases, Amsterdam has seen a 57% increase in the number of positive tests this week alone.

As we have already seen, the RIVM and GGD have started talking about a second wave. It seems it’s hitting Amsterdam the hardest. This is especially the case in the Nieuw-West district, where the number of positive tests doubled this week.

Experts worried about public health

Yvonne van Duijnhoven, head of the infectious diseases department for the GGD, has spoken on the subject with At5.nl. She believes that due to the increasingly high numbers, public health is now at risk in Amsterdam.

“I really feel that public health is at risk…The number of infections is very high in Nieuw-West and very high in Zuidoost.”

The GGD is particularly worried about nursing homes in the city but they want to avoid imposing a complete lockdown for the time being. “Nursing homes were closed to visitors during the first lockdown, we have to prevent that this time. People have a need for social contact, so I hope we don’t have to reduce the visitor’s scheme that far.”

GGD working to prevent spread

The GGD is doing everything it can to prevent the continued spread of coronavirus throughout Amsterdam. They wish to increase the city’s testing capacity before flu season starts. The GGD can currently perform 3,200 tests per day in Amsterdam but this number is also shared with people from other regions who need to get tested.

This week, a new testing lane was set up in Nieuw-West, and another will open within two weeks in Zuidoost. For the time being, it is hoped that nationwide measures will be introduced to prevent the continued spread of the virus.

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Feature Image: Ethan Hu/Unsplash.

Sarah O'Leary
Sarah O'Leary
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

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