Crisis Team: If positive cases do not decline in two weeks, more measurements will be implemented

ORANJESTAD – The Crisis Team has stated that through contact tracing continuously by the Epidemiology section together with the infectious disease expert of the hospital, are evaluating the origins of COVID-19 infections.

Last week Epidemiologist Garreth Tromp indicated that 50% of infections happen at home, while 25% are work-related infections, and 25% of infections origin is unknown. The curfew was introduced based on these findings to reduce the transmissions of the virus. One week later, they noticed a change in the percentage, but not in the number of cases, in the contrary, experts noticed a steady increase in cases.

The question is why is this happening?

After one week of curfew, the unknown origin of transmission was reduced to 10%, 20 % of new cases traced back to the workplace while 70% of infections happened at home.

That means that families are getting together more frequently. They visit either for parties or for family events, which caused a widespread infection within families and, from one home to another. This situation is regretful since the Government and crisis team on many occasions have warned the community to avoid direct contact with others and about all the risks of infections when socializing in public places. Since the virus does affect the younger individuals lightly, they tend to take the virus lightly as well and do not consider the recommendations by the crisis team. They think they do not have the virus since they do not have symptoms. The reality is that even though they do not have symptoms, they can still infect others. That is why it is important to protect ourselves, not only from strangers but from family members as well.

Since infections happen mostly at home within family members, it is the responsibility of every single individual to help reduce the infection rate.

Neither the Government nor the Crisis Team has the power to enforce the law in anyone’s home. This is the responsibility of each individual to help reduce the number of new cases.

The Government and Crisis Team will introduce new measures to improve the situation, however, they are not driven by fears to implement ineffective measures.

For the upcoming two weeks, the Government is evaluating stricter measures in case the daily new cases do not decline. They are evaluating the re-introduction of the “shelter in place” or expand the curfew hours. The decision has been made to double the personnel of the task force to help control those in quarantine or isolation. Additionally, they have introduced a fine of Awg. 1000,- for anyone not abiding the rules. We cannot afford the cases to keep going up, since it will cause serious problems with the capacity of the hospital.

The Government once more urges the community to be aware that we are in the middle of a COVID-19 outbreak, and when having any symptoms to immediately contact their family physician for testing. While waiting for the test result, the individual should remain isolated. Take care of yourself and take care of your family. Use facemasks, keep the proper distance, and do not visit any family member for the coming days.

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