‘Winter is coming’ – Politicians don’t make choices, risk of contamination in airplane limited

“I can taste a lot of irritation. Scientists notice that politicians only try to save what can be saved and do not want to make tough decisions,” science editor and corona journalist Maarten Keulemans told de Volkskrant (4.1). “They are working on the transition from 3G to 2G, or the catering industry has to close at 6 a.m. or 8 a.m. As if there is no awareness at all that we are still in the middle of a pandemic.” And that it is the responsibility of politicians to make choices. But we don’t want a code black, no lockdown and no urge to vaccinate. “That doesn’t seem to be possible all at the same time.”

This brings Keulemans to a tweet with the revealing title: Winter is coming. Because the figures are not only rising in the Netherlands. Other countries are also being raided and are seeing the numbers rise.

At the request of de Volkskrant (3.1), the GGD Kennemerland released the data from the so-called ‘aircraft contact investigation’. This is a variant of the regular source and contact investigation and concerns the data of passengers who have arrived at international airports in the Netherlands in the past 16 months. Since June last year, at least 11,488 people infected with Covid-19 have been on 9,434 flights to the Netherlands.

The GGD has tried to trace the ‘close contacts’ of each of those 11,488 infected passengers. These were the people in the two rows around the passenger (front, back and side) and the crew members in the cabin. In total, that was about 80,000 fellow passengers. Three quarters of the close contacts were not approached or reached by telephone.

On average, there were 827 positive air passengers per month last year. During the measurement period, the most infected travelers came from Crete, Palma de Mallorca and Istanbul (800 each) and Faro (714).

The GGD emphasizes that it is impossible to determine on the basis of the data to what extent airports are ‘ports of entry’ for passengers with covid-19. After all, it was not mandatory to test after arrival in the Netherlands. The figures also say nothing about the risk of contamination on board an aircraft. “The infections that the GGD detects can also have been contracted before or after the flight,” writes de Volkskrant. RIVM and the Netherlands Aerospace Center (NLR) also confirm that the aircraft is a relatively safe (corona) environment. But the best way to protect yourself against infection is to stay at home. You are simply much more likely to get infected when you travel. “In addition, there is a great risk that new virus variants will spread quickly through international travel.”

Meanwhile there is news about a highly contagious new African Covid causative agent. The WHO will meet tomorrow about this.

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‘Winter is coming’ – Politicians don’t make choices, risk of contamination in airplane limited

Fuzzy Skunk