The relaxing of measures on Thursday April 16th which should have lasted until Sunday 19th April could be interpreted in two ways. It’s either the Prime Minister buckled under social media pressure from citizens who are bent on old habits and not willing to make any sacrifices in the interest of effectively fighting the spread of the virus; or, it was a smart move on the part of the PM to be considerate to an increasing number of citizens who either didn’t get access to cash and the supermarket because of the stepped up measure to lock down. Whichever of the two is the reason for easing the measures, the main question would be if it will defeat the purpose of the lock down which is to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We have to keep our eyes on the numbers.
The Prime Minister after a week, announced the adjusted measure in a surprised move that may well prove counterproductive when the assessment is done to determine if the lock down was actually helping to stop the virus from infecting more people than we wanted it to. When we look at the numbers to this date, the Dutch side is recording 67 positive cases and because there are more tests that are being done, the Prime Minister says she expect the numbers to go up and that means we have not peak as yet. The concentration of mobile testing in the communities may prove something different about how much people are truly infected with the virus, but that too has to be proven before we can safely say it’s under control.
The French side has extended its lock down measures until May 11th which means the controls at the border will continue unabated. There have been pledges from both French and Dutch authorities to work in tandem to stem the flow of traffic through the borders; they have agreed that this is one way of helping to control the spread. The Dutch side in the meantime has allowed essential movement several days in the week while they ramp up testing in the communities. The 64 Dollar question is whether this is helping to stop the spread on the Dutch Side?
A New National Decree goes into effect as of Sunday April 19th for three weeks up to about the 10th of May 2020. We will be able then to measure the consequences of a relaxed measure and to determine if the spread is continuing to increase or we are getting COVID-19 pandemic under control.