The Netherlands introduces coronavirus packages for low-income neighbourhoods

The city of Amsterdam will be distributing 100,000 coronavirus packages during this week for low-income Amsterdammers and neighbourhoods with a low vaccination rate.

The municipality’s packages, which start to go out door-to-door as of Tuesday, will include four self-tests, two face masks, and basic coronavirus prevention measures, reports Het Parool.

While four self-tests might now sound like a lot of help, but given that not everyone can afford a test that averages at around โ‚ฌ3 a piece, this move is certainly valuable during the holiday weeks. ๐Ÿค—

โ€œResearch by the RIVM shows that more people test themselves sooner if they have self-tests in-house.ย However, the costs of this can be quite high, especially if you don’t already have it,โ€ says Amsterdam’s Deputy Mayor, Simone Kukenheim.

A national approach

Amsterdam’s method in distributing free-self tests is not the first of its kind in the Netherlands. Similar nationwide approaches were taken by The Dutch Ministry of Health, where they distributed 2 million free self-tests through the Poverty Fund and the Food Bank starting the summer.

Last week alone, 60,000 additional self-tests were sent to the food banks in preparation for the holiday weeks and gatherings, according to the NOS.

The municipality of Leusden offers another successful example where residents in need can pick up self-tests for free, or receive them through food bank packages.

Welcomed initiatives

The outgoing Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge, has some opinions about free coronavirus tests for those in need, especially since it already exists for certain groups like children in secondary education and upper levels of primary school, or at food banks.

On one hand, De Jonge welcomes the local initiatives to make free self-tests available, since “everyone should be able to do a self-test,” โ€” his words, not ours. ๐Ÿ™„

But on the other hand, De Jonge believes that “many people can also pay for them themselves. But they are not free for everyone, because there is no such thing as free.” ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

What do you think of these localized initiatives in distributing free coronavirus self-tests to low-income Dutch neighbourhoods? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:

Farah Al Mazouni ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Farah believes she's been on many adventures during her millennial life, each for a different (sometimes invisible) purpose. The latest adventure whisked her away to Amsterdam for love, and what a magical surprise she found in this city. Armed with imaginary confetti in her pocket, and ready to celebrate all wins, big and small, Farah says "ahla w sahla" or โ€œwelcomeโ€ to her latest adventure in this wonderland.


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