Medical Minister annoyed by quick accusations over Covid-19 in nursing homes

Martin van Rijn
Martin van Rijn in 2015 as State Secretary for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and SportRijksoverheid.nlWikimedia CommonsCC-0

Minister Martin van Rijn for Medical Care is annoyed that the high number of coronavirus infections in nursing homes was immediately blamed on the lack of protective gear. According to him, that is not a proven fact, he said in an interview with the Telegraaf.

"There was scarcity everywhere. Then you have to divide it up," Van Rijn said about protective gear like masks and gloves. "And then it makes sense that the distribution goes to where the most patients go. Do you remember that we were struggling with intensive care capacity at the time?"

"What I have trouble with is that a connection is being made between that protective gear and the peak of infections in nursing homes," Van Rijn said to the newspaper. Because "we do not know" whether there is a connection, he said.

The Minister does not yet want to evaluate the government's response to the coronavirus crisis. "You have to look back, but then at a time when you have some distance. Not when you are in the middle of it."

The Dutch Safety Board will investigate how the government responded to the crisis, was announced last week. Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security asked for an "independent evaluation".