Ban New Year's fireworks to prevent more pressure on healthcare, Green, Animal parties say
GroenLinks and animal party PvdD want the government to temporarily ban fireworks this New Year's. According to the parties, the Dutch healthcare system is already overburdened with coronavirus patients. Adding fireworks injuries on top of that would be irresponsible, GroenLinks leader Jesse Klave rand PvdD leader Esther Ouwehand said to NU.nl.
"If we now see how high the pressure is at hospitals and emergency care, but also the enforcement at the police and enforcement officers, then we have to act," Klaver said. Ouwehand added that there can't be hundreds of fireworks victims while ambulances are already driving around looking for emergency rooms that have space to treat their patient.
Every year consumer fireworks around New Year's cause hundreds of injuries in the Netherlands. There are also always incidents of police officers and other first responders being pelted with fireworks.
The Dutch association of emergency care doctors NVSHA and the association for enforcers Nederlandse BOA Bond support the call to ban consumer fireworks this year. "Even if the current corona measures start working, the hospitals will be busy in the coming months," Annemarie van der Velden of NVSHA said to the newspaper.
"The enforcers are already very busy with the enforcement of corona measures," Ruud Kuin of the enforcers' association said. "A total ban eases our work and also makes it safer for our enforcers."
Gerrit van de Kamp of police union ACP told the newspaper that the police union supports banning consumer fireworks, just like every other year.