New measures now to avoid stricter measures later

ORANJESTAD- Since March 2020, the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic started and had its up and down moments.

December 29 was one of the difficult moments for Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes, as she stated during her press conference with the Crisis team. The amount of positive active cases on Tuesday, December 29 reached 206, and 49 people died from this virus.

Analyzing the current situation and reasons for the new measures

The Prime Minister explained her decision and the reasons to be worried. This lead to the introduction of new measures that are categorized into 5 categorie.

Daily new positive cases

The first reason is the increased number of daily positive cases reported. There is an average of 20 new cases daily, which brings us back to the level of October 19, which is reason to be concerned. December started with an average of 18 new cases, and after implementing new measures, it dropped to 12 average new cases in the following week. In the third week of December, it already increased to 16 new cases daily and in the final week of December, this surged to 20 cases daily. On December 29, the cases spiked to 50 new cases, which is very alarming.

The “positivity rate”, the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, or: (positive tests)/(total tests) x 100% is over 30%, which is similar to the level in August right before the surge that peaked in September. This is a very alarming situation.

Testing

The second reason for concern is the decrease in people getting tested. The DVG noticed that fewer people are getting tested compared to before. People are also walking around for 5 days with symptoms before they get tested. The consequence of this is that these individuals may be spreading the virus unknowingly.

Infection source

The infection source is the third reason for concern. 60% of positive cases are contracted at home, while 40% do not know where they contracted the virus, which is alarming.

They can infect others without knowing and without the possibility to warn others. Besides, many locals are traveling for the holidays and returning home with the virus. This week 8 positive cases returned from the USA and 1 from the Netherlands.

Behavior

The fourth reason for concern is the behavior of some people. During the pandemic, some people never complied with any of the safety protocols and showed disgraceful behavior. This group of apathetic people is growing, as observed during the past weekend where underground parties have become very popular. Unfortunately, musicians and DJs have become creative and are creating big agglomerations of people, which is the opposite of what they agreed with the crisis team.

New Year’s Celebration

The fifth and last reason for concern is the celebrations during the final days of the year. Worldwide these celebrations are considered high-risk days for superspreaders.

“Because we are almost in the same position as we were in August, there is a reason for concern and we do not want this to repeat and jeopardize the healthcare system, public health, and economy of our country. That’s why we need to take measures now, to avoid painful situations in January with all the possible consequences of overflowing the hospital and Intensive Care Units with Covid19 patients. That will put the medical treatment of other critical patients to a halt. Our experts advised us to avoid this possible scenario from happening by acting now and not later”, the Prime Minister explained.

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