Coronavirus: Aboutaleb fears second intelligent lockdown


In his role as chairman of the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Safety Region, Aboutaleb responds to the cabinet’s tighter corona measures. For example, from today the catering industry has to close at 10 p.m., the public is no longer welcome at sports matches and large groups are limited as much as possible. At home, only three guests are allowed to visit and employees are urged to go to work only when working from home is not possible.

Blunt measures

Aboutaleb calls the stricter rules “blunt measures”. But according to the mayor they are necessary. “I think these are the right steps as an interim balance.”

If the situation has not improved in two to three weeks, even stronger measures are needed, Aboutaleb says. He calls the imminent shortage of hospital beds “a monster hanging over our heads” and is shocked by the sheets that Ernst Kuipers of Erasmus MC has shown him about this.

The mayor is pleased that the latest rules apply nationally and not only in a region such as Rotterdam-Rijnmond. He himself also argued for it in the cabinet. “It was not easy to hear about this in The Hague. But I am glad that the cabinet has now moved in that direction. I heard Rutte say yesterday that it was a matter of advancing insight.”

“In the beginning we thought that we could take a number of regional measures via a three-step rocket. And keep a number of regions out. But if you look at the figures at the moment, only Zeeland is actually outside the danger zone. the 25 regions are so infected that it is necessary to take measures. “

“I use the fire service model myself”, the mayor clarifies. “If the city of Rotterdam is on fire, you as a fire brigade have to extinguish and keep the rest of the regions wet, like an adjacent plot.”

Plea for a mouth mask

Aboutaleb is joining forces for the government’s advice to wear mouth masks in cities such as Rotterdam in catering establishments and shops. “You know me as a warm proponent of mouth masks. I already made a case for this in mid-July. There was also an experiment with this in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The cabinet never spoke warmly about this during the implementation. The Hague did not receive a warm response to our evaluation either, but I am glad that the movement is now moving in this direction again, although I would have preferred that this policy had been introduced nationally and would also apply to public buildings, for example. week to ask the OMT for advice again. “

The mouth mask is difficult at RIVM and parts of the OMT, Aboutaleb concludes. “So be it. I have to accept that. But I am happy with the small step that has now been taken.”

Rutte’s hesitation

According to Aboutaleb, part of the population is still not aware of the seriousness of the situation. He was shocked by the traffic on Tuesday morning. “There was just another traffic jam on the various roads in our city. Knowing that the virus is there and behaving according to it turned out to be two very different things.”

Getting the whole country to comply with the rules is the hardest thing there is, Aboutaleb realizes. “But we have no other magical solution than behavior modification. That will ultimately determine success.”

Prime Minister Rutte struck the right tone at the press conference on Monday evening, the mayor says. “He had good lyrics. It was just a pity that he hesitated too long when he was asked whether he would wear a mouth mask himself. That hesitation spoke volumes. But I am glad that he eventually said that he would do that. “

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