Groningen ignores the national advice and is going to do extra tests for corona, this UMCG virologist explains why – Groningen

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The measures surrounding the coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands are becoming stricter. The call for more testing is growing, but only Groningen is responding to that. UMCG virologist Alex Friedrich, who himself contracted corona, explains why.

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The national response to the call for more corona tests is that there is insufficient capacity. This is not the case with Alex Friedrich, doctor and microbiologist at the UMCG in Groningen. He says an interview with De Groene Amsterdammer. “We have disconnected from national policy and are simply doing it with healthcare providers: testing, testing, testing.”

Why?

So Groningen does things differently. But why? Friedrich disagrees with a firm point that forms the basis of the Dutch RIVM policy, namely that you are only contagious from the moment you have symptoms and that you have to stay at home – and that as a result only contacts that have had contact are detected with the positive tested person after they got sick.

Friedrich: ,, That is simply not true, just as it is not true that children cannot transmit the virus. That is why we have said from the outset in the northern provinces: we are counting back two days from that first day of illness and we also trace those contacts. Second, children are contagious even if they don’t get sick themselves. ”

Epidemic

Moreover, the Northern Netherlands is in a completely different phase of the outbreak than the provinces in the south and west of the country, says Friedrich. This therefore also requires other measures. Because Groningen (and the rest of the North) reacts proactively, the doctor is confident about the situation in the region.

We must, however, take into account more measures, which may also take longer than we initially thought. For now, the promulgated measures announced by the government apply until April 6. Friedrich thinks they will be extended until at least May: ,, Maybe the measures will last longer than May, but we don’t know that yet. That depends on how well it is now succeeding in damping it. ”

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