‘The Dutch approach to corona seems like a joke to me’

After all the media attention it’s been getting so far, I’m sure everyone’s completely fed up with the coronavirus. However, I do feel it should be the topic of my blog this month.

As I’m writing this, on the afternoon of Sunday 1 March, things are slowly getting back to normal here in China. The roadblocks are gone, shops and restaurants are reopening and the number of recovered people is now exceeding the number of infected people.

In the Netherlands, they currently have eight confirmed cases. I estimate that when you read this blog, this figure will be at least 800. Why? Because, in my opinion, they aren’t doing enough to tackle the problem.

The Dutch approach, compared to the Chinese one, seems like a joke to me. Admittedly, China shouldn’t have brushed things under the carpet during the first six weeks of the coronavirus outbreak. They should have taken immediate action, so that the whole thing could have been nipped in the bud.

But once the matter became public knowledge, all possible measures were adopted wholeheartedly. An entire city of 11 million inhabitants were quarantined, nobody was allowed to go out on the street, everyone was obliged to stay indoors, whether they were thought to have contracted the virus or not.

The Chinese built a new hospital in ten days’ time. Can you imagine that happening in the Netherlands? The Dutch need more than ten days just to come up with some preliminary drawings. Not to mention planning permission, city council meetings, planning departments, health and safety officers, parliamentary hearings and referendums.

The quarantine in China applied to the entire city and it was 99% watertight. Unlike in Italy, where people continued to move between places via back lanes and forest trails. And how about South Korea? A man who was told to stay in quarantine felt like getting some fresh air. So, he took his Japanese wife on a leisurely stroll through a National Park. That got everyone worked up! The entire police force was mobilised, roadblocks were thrown up, etc. I don’t think you’d ever see anything like it in the Netherlands, apart from if the most dangerous prisoner had escaped perhaps.

I don’t envy the policymakers. They’re facing difficult choices. But if you want to manage this properly, you need temperature checks and a registration system using QR codes and track and trace, to show where people have been. The fact that there are no checks at airports yet is odd, to say the least. This virus must be isolated. If that doesn’t happen, it will take over.

All suspected cases must be tested. Just having a patient lie in hospital for a week, like they did in Gorinchem, because the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said: ‘no testing’, is completely unacceptable. People with symptoms who travelled from an affected area shouldn’t be advised to ‘stay at home for a day’, they should be tested immediately to see if they’re infected or not.

The Dutch are very level-headed, never quick to panic. But this is a serious matter. Even if the current death toll is only a fraction of that of a severe winter flu, it could turn very nasty. So, better safe than sorry. Better to rigorously wipe it out, than to try and muddle your way through. As the Dutch say: ‘You’d better sit still while you’re being shaved’. That way, the job will be done quickly and without any harm. And that’s how I feel about the coronavirus.

But I’m not a virologist or a health expert. Thank God…

Cok Harteveld,

General manager Van den Berg Roses

Click here to reed moren blogs of Cok.

 

 

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Sjaak
Sjaak
10 maanden geleden

Wat een paniekzaaierij. Het in één zin goed praten van de politieke acties van China en het daarbij vergeten dat China het epicentrum is van deze ziekte en bijbehorende gevolgen. Om vervolgens paragraaf naar paragraaf Nederland en haar cultuur belachelijk te maken.

Navros
Navros
10 maanden geleden

The comments show exactly the problem that the Dutch have. Those comments and the measures that have been taken so far are an absolute joke. It’s better to take good measures beforehand. Now, it’s already too late in The Netherlands. The RIVM already said the virus cannot be contained in Noord-Brabant. We are heading to the same or even worse situation than Italy. Schools, shops, restaurants and eventually some factories and offices will have to shut down. This will bring more economic damage to the Dutch than they thought. It’s just stupid.

Frank
Frank
10 maanden geleden

Unfortunately this blog is spot-on. By the time I’m reading this (16th of march) the official number of registered infections is 1413. But the true count is much higher because they’ve stopped testing, they don’t have the capacity. The true infection rate is estimated at over 6000 by the GGD.
The deathrate is 24 now and doubling every 2 days. just today the schools where closed but no total lockdown yet. I think it’ll be another 4 days before the government realises that it’s an inevitable measure

Lexxie
Lexxie
10 maanden geleden

Ik ben het mee eens. Ik kom uit Tsjechie maar woon in Nederland. Tsjechie heeft heel strenge maatregelen, het land heeft de grenzen gesloten, bijna niets meer is open en mensen gaan alleen voor het noodzakelijke op straat. Scholen hebben ze al bij de eerste 40 bevestigde besmettingen dicht gedaan. Mensen zijn nu verzocht om mondkapjes te dragen om de verspreiding te stoppen. Vandaag waren er 150 000 nieuwe testen opgehaald in China..en hier in Nederland kwamen ze met afstand houden en geen handen schudden en geen evenementen en activiteiten met meer dan 100 mensen..prima maar strengere maatregelen kwamen veel later. De scholen wilden ze ook niet eens sluiten, omdat kinderen bijna geen risico zijn en de ouders in de zorg en andere vitale beroepen waren hard nodig. Dus wie zal dan de kinderen opvangen? Misschien navragen bij de andere landen die de scholen ook hebben dichtgedaan. En nu komt Meneer Rutte met groepsimmuniteit en geen lockdown? Hoe gaat hij garanderen dat er niet teveel mensen tegerlijk heel erg ziek worden..en dat alleen de sterke mensen ziek worden en milde klachten krijgen..want ja wat moeten we in de tussentijd met de ouderen en chronisch zieke mensen doen? De immuniteit wordt niet zomaar opgeboud en wie weet of mensen uberhaupt imuun na de ziekte zijn. Ik vind het geen goed plan, hopelijk horen we binnenkoort toch iets anders van onze regering. Ik hoop heel erg dat we hier niet richting Italie gaan..

Frank
Frank
10 maanden geleden

Vreemd, ik schreef hier 2dgn geleden een uitgebreide reactie (die ook deze blog onderbouwt) en nu is hij verdwenen

Maarten Mulder
Beheerder
10 maanden geleden
Antwoord aan  Frank

Beste Frank,
Zo te zien is je reactie ten onrechte als spam aangemerkt. Mijn excuses, ik heb hem teruggezet.

mvg,
Maarten Mulder
moderator

Ernest Poster
Ernest Poster
9 maanden geleden

China has a suppressive regime so is obligated to prevent its citizens from thinking for themselves, this is the exact difference with most European countries, especially the northern and Scandinavian parts, by the way, these are the counties with -on average- the best healthcare for all citizens, best average eduction level, high taxes, least religion and longest, oldest and also happiest people, with the Danes on nr. 1. If a government doesn’t trust its own people you live in China…….. they are lying their socks off, still, about figures so if they want to become a TRUSTED part of the global community they have a lot of work to do over-there. Try getting to democracy first. oppression will not cure pandemic hysterie.
Also, 75% of the Dutch agree to the current restrictions, also they understand the information given by their health care experts, which are btw nr 3-5 world you 10, China does not make it in the top 10…… tell me who you trust?
In some blocks of Wu Han where they opened up, the first new cases are reported by suppressed social media already, so don’t believe ale you hear!
Toch al je wel overleven, bij coronavirussen overleeft nl 99,5% van alle gevallen jonger dan 56 jaar!