Thursday 23 September 2021

Risk of second corona wave if people drop their guard, experts warn

Tourists at the Zaanse Schans before the coronavirus outbreak

Tourists at the Zaanse Schans before the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: depositphotos

Health officials have voiced concern about a second wave of coronavirus infections caused by infected patients ignoring guidance to stay home.

The number of coronavirus infections increased by 185 on Monday, the highest daily figure recorded in more than a month. In pockets of Noord-Brabant the proportion of people testing positive has risen from 0.6% to 2.3% in recent days.

In Hillegom, Zuid-Holland, 23 new cases have been traced to a cafe. Sjaak de Gouw, director of the local health service, said hundreds more people locally could potentially have been infected.

Anne-Marieke Zijden, director of public health for the GGD West-Brabant, told AD that more people in infected areas were being tested for the virus, but many were ignoring advice to stay home while they waited for the results.

‘Our staff regularly have people on the phone who go for a walk in town after their test, or visit friends, or still go to work,’ she said. ‘People’s behaviour is making us very concerned.’

Her words were echoed by Bart Berden, director of the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg and chair of the regional acute healthcare liaison committee (ROAZ). ‘We’re seeing people catching up with parties that were planned during the lockdown and companies calling on their workers to go back to the office,’ he said.

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