April 13, 2020 WILLEMSTAD - Epidemiologist Dr. Izzy Gerstenbluth indicated today during the daily briefing that the confirmed COVID-19 cases remain at 14 and there is still 1 inconclusive who will be tested again. 10 are safe now and 3 are still active (1 is in the hospital).
Dr. Gerstenbluth says that the aim is not to 'flatten the curve', but to crush it. This to prevent the healthcare system from collapsing and too many people dying, who do not even have the COVID-19 virus. Also, to prevent massive panic and a total 'collapse' of the economy. “We don't have time to sit and see what happens!”
“We are a small country and it can go very fast. If you sit too long and wait to see what happens, it may already be too late. Yes, the economy is shrinking now, but if this gets out of hand, the contraction is more dramatic,” says the doctor.
6 percent of the tests that were done were positive, and Dr. Gerstenbluth reiterated that they don't have more capacity to test. “6 percent is not much, and we have few people who report with symptoms.” If you crush quickly, you can move in quickly' (crush the curve) is Gerstenbluth's idea.
“We've had a few new cases in the past 2 weeks, not many but there are certainly a few more. If we have it well under control, we can do it differently. This week we will look at how it went through the surveillance system and whether the unknown cases do not lead to an outbreak. But we need this week to prepare in case of an outbreak. Because there are definitely more cases out there, but it is still not an outbreak because we don’t see that in our hospital,” says Dr. Gerstenbluth.
Dr. Gerstenbluth summarizes that they are going to the next phase, but the system must be ready; “we should be able to do more tests; but meanwhile, everyone has to keep their distance.”