OMT advised the cabinet to take stricter measures | NOW


The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has advised the cabinet to take tougher action to halt the further spread of the corona virus. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) announced national measures on Monday, but according to the OMT it would have been wiser to come up with a “stronger package of measures”.

The experts of the OMT believe that “given the seriousness and speed of the increase” in the number of infections combined with non-compliance with the corona rules requires more action.

One of the measures that has been advised to the cabinet, but has not been adopted, is to set an evening and night clock. “This could be effective for setting regionally, for example in the major cities most affected in this outbreak,” the advisory said.

The maximum group size in indoor areas should also be further reduced according to the OMT. The cabinet is reducing the maximum to thirty, which should be reduced to twenty, according to the experts. In addition, the experts prefer to see shower and changing facilities close to sports facilities.

According to the cabinet and the OMT, the measures that have now been taken are aimed at reducing the reproduction number to 0.9. But according to the experts, given the seriousness of the situation, a lower reproduction number should be aimed for.

OMT do not agree among themselves on the use of mouth masks

It is also striking that the OMT advice shows that the experts do not agree among themselves about the use of a mouth mask. The advice, which has been adopted by the cabinet, is that the use of mouth masks is recommended in situations where the 1.5 meters is not feasible, especially for the large cities that are currently badly affected. “On this point, the members of the OMT were divided,” the advice states.

Since the start of the corona crisis, the cabinet has relied heavily on the advice of the OMT, the experts who advise the cabinet in the corona approach. “Their advice has been guiding from the start for all measures taken in the Netherlands so far,” said Prime Minister Rutte at the start of the crisis.

The cabinet is currently deviating from the experts on a few points, although the measures that have not been adopted are kept on hand. “What measures still need to be taken in the near future depends to a great extent on the effect of the measures taken and on our own behavior. The more we observe the basic rules, the less radical measures we will have to take”, said Minister De Jonge.

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