Lockdown prompted by warnings from outbreak team, health institute
Shortly before the Dutch government decided to put the Netherlands in a hard lockdown, involved Ministers received alarming reports from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) and Jaap van Dissel of public health institute RIVM. They warned that with no intervention, Covid-19 infections will easily surpass the first wave's peak in March, among other things, NOS reports.
The OMT warned of the spiking infections, calling them of "great concern". The government's main advisory body on the pandemic added that the partial lockdown would have to apply for months if no extra measures were taken.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge commented to RTL about infections surpassing the March peak if no measures were taken. "We cannot afford that, because it has major implications for the accessibility of healthcare," he said. During the peak of the first wave of infections, regular healthcare in the Netherlands was brought to a near halt.
Van Dissel, head of infectious disease control at the RIVM, presented a similar gloomy picture to the cabinet on Sunday. He warned that the targets for lowering ICU and hospital admissions would disappear across the horizon if no additional measures were taken. He added that the increasing number of infections cannot be explained by the expanded testing policy, in which people without symptoms are also tested.