MAASTRICHT. Many students want to contribute towards the containment of the corona crisis. Also in Maastricht where here and there sheets of A4 with telephone numbers have been hung up. Professor Christiaan Hoebe, head of Infectious Disease Control Zuid Limburg Health Authority (GGD), is impressed by the help offered, but would like to inform the students that the RIVM guidelines must be observed: 1.5 metre distance, place shopping on the ground and have money ready (or pay by bank card).
Maastricht medical students are working for the Zuid Limburg GGD in the call centre, says Christiaan Hoebe, professor at Maastricht University and head of Infectious Disease Control for the GGD. About 200 students have signed up. "They are paid so they are earning a little on the side." They are not all at work at once; it is a group of six to eight people, says Hoebe. They will man telephones and answer general questions about the virus.
There is also a group of medical students in Maastricht who have signed up for the so-called mobility team at MUMC; this concerns flexible voluntary work, so helping out wherever needed.
In addition, there is a new national vacancy platform, set up by the Royal Dutch Medical Association and the journal Medisch Contact. Nursing homes may place free advertisements for extra staff. “It is happening really fast,” says Bertho Nieboer, senior editor of Medisch Contact. “Seven hundred doctors have already signed up. All these people have their hearts in the right place."
There are also dozens of local student initiatives to help vulnerable elderly people. In Maastricht, students in the Brusselsepoort area have offered to take dogs out for walks and to go shopping. The students from 'Corona-hulp' also want to help with day-to-day jobs.
Crew against Corona focuses mainly on the elderly, but the initiators, three Maastricht medical students, are also thinking about offering services to the police, ambulance and fire brigade. "Minding their children for example, is an option," they state on the site ThuisinMaastricht (in Dutch).