Is virus-free North will soon suffer from problems Randstad?

Nobody wants it, a second nationwide lockdown. But working regional barriers or in the “village Netherlands? Experts doubt. Yet almost free corona north of the country would soon like to decide themselves whether schools or terraces or should not close.

Exactly six days in March, the brave attempt. But corona in England and keep wiping it soon proved an impossible mission. So the provincial limitations of March 6 was not even a week later, nationwide force. “Dutch life closely and travel a lot,” said RIVM director Jaap van Dissel about. “So you have to straighten the measures Netherlands with those of North Carolina.”

The world looks tight five months later, completely different, you might say. Corona is not exotic newcomer, everyone is alert, we test, do source and contact research, holding various basic rules. So, say RIVM and GGD cabinet, we have to deal mostly local small clusters. Due to patients and to trace their contacts and to isolate. A building or business groups close or quarantine.

If they all do not work, then there’s the emergency brake, a municipality or region can “intelligently lockdown. That means for example, bars and gyms close, a curfew and maximum stay home.

Take the corona outbreak in South Holland Hillegom, last week. A local bar became outbreak, with 39 known cases so far. “If we do not get it under control, we are close to a regional lockdown on,” Leiden Mayor Henri Lenferink warned, chairman of the security Hollands Midden (where Hillegom covered). In the village the fire seems now under control. Yet Lenferink remains committed to regional action. “Why should people stay indoors in Groningen if we have an outbreak in Hillegom?”

That takes Alex Friedrich, medical microbiologist at the University Medical Center Groningen in Groningen, also. ,, In Winschoten all slam if there is an outbreak in Goes, which has seen no epidemiological much sense, “he says. ,, And I think many economists also will not find such a good idea. ” Drastic measures such as lock downs Friedrich as a sign that you have an infectious disease under control. “In the spring was that because we were not prepared. But now we have that if it is good indeed. Viruses spread out nationwide, but always locally first. And so you have to adapt measures on that. ”

Therefore Friedrich would find it quite logical: in one region schools and restaurants close one or two weeks, while it does not happen elsewhere in the country. In one province temporarily a face mask duty, not in another. “People will really understand that if the virus somehow violently to turn itself around, that justified even tougher measures.”

Groningen Mayor Koen Schuiling, chairman of the security region Groningen, agrees – although somewhat more nuanced – behind the arguments of Friedrich. “I would never choose regional policy that is contrary to the opinions of the Outbreak Management Team of RIVM. But I think you regional choices you have to make. “Schuiling makes no comment on anything. Since this spring, the north of the country has much less coronavirus infections than the south and west. In the province of Groningen in relation for example almost 25 times as many people as infected in South Holland. And while in the three northern provinces together Friday were only four new cases, only counted the Rotterdam-Rijnmond GGD-region there almost sixty on the same day. No wonder mayors in the Randstad start earlier on facemasks. “That’s why I want to take measures that are relevant in our northern environment. A face mask is on duty in Amsterdam street might be an idea, but in Bourtange is really not necessary. Especially when people adhere to the rules, what I see here often. ”

Still, many experts are wary of drastic measures on a regional scale. Making the population and wanderlust Netherlands difficult to cut in isolated areas, they argue. Discovering that the virus has spread somewhere, chances are that it further into the land base has been grounded in the “village Netherlands’:” We mix here continuously and still roam many infected people. And the holidays there is potentially a steady import of new cases, “says Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology Hans Heesterbeek (Utrecht University).

Heesterbeek is one of the leading experts in the field of infectious disease modeling. Under his leadership examines a group of scientists now the optimal control strategy. Results are not there yet, but the professor warned in advance: Do not dwell on local opportunities. Dutch meet normally fourteen others daily, demonstrated by previous research. Germans, for example, a little less “social”, with eight daily contacts.

With a virus that sometimes jumps before you get symptoms, it is difficult to contain it much changing contacts and a high mobility. Someone can go a few days later to Amsterdam on Saturday unwittingly become infected in a Maastricht cafĂ©, and there infect others who spread cheerfully turn. Gone is your local grip, it is virtually impossible for the GGD detectives. “So it may well be that the taming of a big wave can only nationally,” tempers professor Heesterbeek hope.

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