The Netherlands will embrace a “herd immunity” strategy to combat the coronavirus pandemic, just as Britain backs away from its own plans to manage rather than suppress the disease following warnings of 250,000 deaths.
In remarks that make him the first world leader to publicly back the herd immunity theory, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said a mass lockdown was not feasible and the country had instead opted for a plan that included “controlled distribution” of COVID-19 “among groups that are least at risk”.
Herd immunity is a scenario in which so many people become resistant to a certain disease it becomes much harder for it to spread to the rest of the population.
However mass immunity is typically achieved through vaccinations rather than via exposure and recovery. Experts have warned that allowing coronavirus to sweep through younger and healthier members of the public is a dangerous way of building resistance in the community.
In his speech on Monday, Rutte said his government had ruled out two options: letting the virus spread unchecked, and locking down the country “for a year or even longer”.
Instead, the government settled on a third option dubbed “maximum control”.
Full article at The Sydney Morning Herald