New, national corona measures are being introduced. “We are threatening to run after the virus, which is why we are taking national measures to get ahead of the virus,” said Prime Minister Mark Rutte during a press conference on Monday evening. Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) added: “It is mopping with the tap open.” He says there is “exponential growth.”
Before the weekend, the cabinet thought that only regional measures were needed. Especially in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, the number of positive tests is increasing rapidly.
But due to “advancing insight”, measures are now being rolled out nationally because the Netherlands is turning “red”, according to Rutte.
“Either we succeed in reducing the number of infections, or we fail,” said De Jonge. “Then tougher measures are needed, which will come close to the intelligent lockdown. We are doing our best, but the virus is doing better.”
The minister emphasizes that the number of infections can only lead to possible hospital admissions in a few weeks’ time. “There are now 142 people in intensive care, and we expect more than 400 occupied IC beds in October.”
Everything revolves around the so-called reproduction number. If it is above 1, as has been the case for a few weeks now, the number of infections will increase. Below that, the number of infected people decreases.
No crowd at sports matches, working from home the norm
The new measures follow the alarming corona figures and a subsequent new advice from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT).
Many measures, which will apply from 6 pm on Tuesday, were already leaked on Monday. The catering industry must close at 10 p.m., working from home is becoming the norm and visits to sports matches are prohibited.
Wearing a face mask is recommended in shops. This will not be an obligation from the government, but a shop owner can forbid a customer access based on this.
Contrary to earlier reports, there is no travel ban to and from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. However, the government does not recommend traveling within the Netherlands.
Prevent lockdown in three weeks
The goal is to prevent a new lockdown like in March and April. In three weeks it will be checked whether the number of infections and hospital admissions has fallen sufficiently.
On Monday, Ernst Kuipers, chairman of the National Acute Care Network (LNAZ), also warned about the increasing number of corona patients. “If the current trend continues, the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital will rise to over 1,000 over the weekend.”
The cabinet has decided to hold a press conference on a regular basis again on the latest state of affairs with regard to corona control.
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