Gov't not doing enough against second Covid wave, opposition parties say
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge's press conference on Thursday evening did little to reassure opposition parties that the government is on top of preventing a second wave of the coronavirus. The parties believe that the government is doing too little and that an appeal to young people alone is insufficient to curb the spread of the virus, NOS reports after speaking to opposition parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
PVV leader Geert Wilders told NOS that the government is ill-prepared for a new spike in infections. "The source and contact tracing is still not in order, a maximum of 1,600 ICU beds is far too little and there are still insufficient test kits. But if the second corona wave arrives, it is also because the cabinet insufficiently recognizes contamination by [aerosols]. That is a bad thing."
PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher is also critical. "The coronavirus continues to advance, while not everyone is tested, there is uncertainty about ventilation, and the elderly and schools are raising concerns. The GGD indicates that they barely keep up with the rate of infections. You do not solve all that with a call. The cabinet must be far more ambitious in curbing this. Otherwise a disaster threatens the economy and health."
"Of course everyone always has their own responsibility. But his liberal cabinet is now shifting everything downward," SP leader Lilian Marijnissen said to the broadcaster. "It must now also act to prevent worse. An appeal to young people is much too one-sided. The GGD now fears that all the source and contact tracing will have to be abandoned in places. Then we lose sight of the virus again."
SGP parliamentarian Roelof Bisschop called it good that the government made themselves heard in the middle of the summer vacation. "This makes us realize the risk that all the hard earned gains of the past months will evaporate again. The medical, social and economic consequences of a new lockdown are incalculable. This is serious."
"Behavioral effects and the reduction of the number of infections are indeed related. Why not a more convincing number about that?" GroenLinks parliamentarian Corinne Ellemeet wanted to know. Though she added that it is a good thing that there was"finally" another press conference. The previous one was on June 24.