According to Rianne van den Berg of the GGD IJsselland, the limits in healthcare have also been reached in Overijssel. “The number of infections is high. It is steadily increasing in all municipalities, so it is a situation that we really have to do something about. The pressure on the health institutions is great. If it continues like this, everyone will understand that in terms of personnel within the care chain. is going to wreak havoc, so I hope that the cabinet will come up with further measures next Friday,” she says firmly.
Regional plea for stricter measures
Mayor Snijders of Zwolle shares the concerns and will insist tomorrow during the national security meeting with the minister for stricter measures for the festivities and events scheduled for December. Think of Sinterklaas and Christmas celebrations. He wants the meetings to take place indoors with fewer people. In his view, limiting the number of visitors who can enter with the QR code is a tightened measure that contributes nationally and therefore also regionally to reducing the number of infections.
In addition, the security region is once again making an urgent appeal to everyone who has complaints to be tested. That call is well respected in Overijssel. More testing is done in Overijssel than elsewhere in the Netherlands. So much that the GGD IJsselland is going to significantly expand the test capacity to avoid long waiting times.
More testing capacity
“We are now at about 3000 tests per day in the IJsselland Safety Region,” says Rianne van den Berg. In terms of test readiness, we are in first place in the Netherlands and that is good to hear, because it means that people take responsibility.
But it does give her a mixed feeling: “The good signal is of course that people are tested in case of complaints, and go into quarantine if necessary. We see this especially in municipalities such as Staphorst and Zwartewaterland where the vaccination rate is low. The fact that so many people have complaints and may be infected does of course concern us,” says van den Berg.
“We are going to try this week to increase the number of tests per day to about 3500. We will also see if we can open in the evenings at some locations.” But the demand for healthcare personnel to staff the test locations is a complicating factor, she says. “In this labor market we are all looking for the same people at the moment, so the question is whether we can recruit staff for this in the short term. But I think it will work,” says van den Berg.
She also emphasizes that compliance with the applicable national guidelines is of course the number one priority. “Wash your hands, keep your distance and stay home if you have complaints.”
Tightened control of vaccination certificates
Over the past week, the Security Region has also tightened up its supervision of checking the corona pass, or the QR codes. Arjan Mengerink of the IJsselland Safety Region says:
“We have been confronted with the facts that we really have to enforce, because otherwise things will not go well. We have become stricter about this. That means that we look more closely, start the conversation and issue a warning if it does not go well. Anyone who still does not want to listen will receive a report, which can ultimately result in fines of a few thousand euros or in the most extreme case closure. Fortunately, this has not yet been the case in our area.”
What makes surveillance difficult are the false vaccination certificates that are currently in circulation. False QR codes are difficult to recognize for the regional supervisors.
A problem that, according to Mengerink, is limited in scope for the time being. “Of course we don’t know what is going on underwater, but what we see is that it is a relatively small problem.”
The Public Prosecution Service has already warned that people who use false vaccination certificates are guilty of fraud and forgery. An offense that carries a hefty fine or imprisonment.