Today, the cabinet is working on new coronavirus measures, which will be announced at tomorrow night’s press conference. It’s anticipated that the primary objectives will be to limit people’s travel and contact, rather than enter into a new intelligent lockdown.
Over the past month, the number of new coronavirus cases in the Netherlands has been soaring. New policy and measures are needed, and the cabinet has been holding discussions about how to slow the rate of infection. The new package of measures has two primary aims: to further limit people’s contact with one another and to minimise travel, reports RTL Nieuws based on insider information.
Will these measures be effective?
The last new measures announced included a face mask obligation and limited hours for restaurants and bars, but that hasn’t been enough. Yesterday, the RIVM reported 6,378 new coronavirus infections. Compared to other countries, the Netherlands is doing poorly when it comes to preventing the spread of the virus.
Chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care, Diederik Gommers, says a complete lockdown is necessary. “Those measures have not proven to be adequate,” he tells AD. “The intention was to flatten the curve. That has not worked yet.”
Calls for a full lockdown
Gommers is very much in favour of entering a full lockdown as soon as possible. He says tougher measures are needed, otherwise, nothing will change. “As far as I’m concerned, things can be done a little faster in a crisis like this.”
He doesn’t understand why the cabinet hasn’t taken tighter or stricter measures. “Tighter measures definitely have economic consequences, but so does this semi-soft [policy]. Because it is not effective and it now takes longer.”
What would a full lockdown mean?
The partial lockdown the Netherlands saw in the early months of the pandemic meant staying home as much as possible and not attending restaurants or sports clubs. But the full lockdown that Gommers calls for would be more similar to the earlier policies in Spain and Italy — including strict rules for shopping and going to work, and not being on the street without an approved reason.
Tomorrow’s press conference will reveal the government’s plans, but all signs indicate that a lockdown in any form is unlikely.
Do you think a lockdown is necessary for the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below.
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