Friday 30 October 2020

Quarantine rules widely ignored, survey shows, as new infections touch 8,000

Support for the government’s basic measures to combat coronavirus, such as hand washing and social distancing, remains high but confidence in the overall approach has fallen, according to the latest survey by public health institute RIVM.

The survey, conducted ahead of Tuesday’s decision to impose a partial lockdown in the Netherlands, showed that while 84% of people thought the government was trying to do its best, just 57% thought the measures were being properly explained.

And only three in 10 said they stayed home if they had mild symptoms or had been in an area considered to be risky, despite the guidelines. ‘Organising the practicalities remains the main obstacle to self-isolation,’ the researchers said.

Six in 10 said they would stay home if a someone else in the household tests positive but only half said they would stay in if contacted by a health worker as part of a track and trace programme. And only four in five said they would stay home if they had tested positive for the virus.

Health minister Hugo de Jonge slammed people who ignore the recommendations to self-isolate, saying ‘advice is there to be followed.’

‘If the health board tells you to sit on your backside on the sofa, that is what you do,’ he told reporters after the Friday afternoon cabinet meeting. ’Don’t start thinking you know better than the health board.’

Positive tests

The number of positive coronavirus tests registered with the public health institute RIVM reached just three short of 8,000 by 10am on Friday morning. The increase takes the number of positive tests over the past week to an average of 7,171, compared with 4,837 in the week earlier period.

The number of hospital patients rose by 27 overnight to 1,533, of whom 345 are being treated in intensive care wards.

The RIVM survey also showed the number of people who are worried about catching coronavirus has almost doubled from 10% in the previous survey six weeks ago to 18% now.

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