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Speech by Dr. Marian Luinstra-Passchier on March 5th 2021

Press Release OLB

Kralendijk - The last time I addressed you, I was concerned about the number of infections. Since then, my concerns have only increased. In recent weeks we have had between one and four infections every day. The day before yesterday we had 16 infections in one go, and yesterday it was 15. With the results coming in at the moment, the increase seems to be continuing. Today we have added 17 positive cases, and not all results have been received yet. In February, we had a total of 49 positive cases and 38 recoveries. And now, in March, we have already had 57 positive cases in five days.

photo OLB

We see many infections in the age group of 30 to 39 year-olds. Most people are being infected via roommates, colleagues and friends. This was also the case in January. We regularly see that people with symptoms still continue to go to work. They are also getting tested too late. Additionally, there is an increase in clusters, i.e. groups of infections, in places such as the workplace, the home circle and nightlife venues. The source for some of these infections is known, but by no means for all of them.

We are not sure yet if we are dealing with the UK variant of the coronavirus or some other variant. The virus seems to be spreading more easily, which means it could very well be that the modified virus is indeed here. Fortunately, there are still only a few hospital admissions. However, we know that in practice hospitalization usually follows a few weeks after infection. We do see that the pressure on healthcare is increasing because some healthcare professionals are testing positive and others are in quarantine.

It may occur that people test positive after their first inoculation with the vaccine. This usually happens because they were already infected before they received the vaccination. It may also occur that someone becomes infected with the virus after their vaccination. In these cases we see that people no longer become seriously ill. This is why we are vaccinating people in the risk groups, such as people 60 years and older, first. It is impossible for someone to become infected with the virus as a result of the vaccination.

The Lieutenant Governor has already said it: More severe measures have been taken at this time. My advice to you is therefore:

- If you have symptoms, stay at home. Do not go to work or a place where there are other people.

- Get tested immediately if you have symptoms. Call 0800 0800. If you have symptoms, do not continue to walk around with them. Even if the symptoms are mild, you could infect others without wanting to!

- If you are 60 years of age or older, get vaccinated as soon as possible. Do this for yourself and for the community. This is how we protect each other. If 70 percent of all people are vaccinated we will be able to get the coronavirus under control. You and I can make that happen!

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