Lockdown should be extended says OMT member Menno de Jong
The current lockdown must be extended, as the number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands is dropping only slightly, says virologist from the Amsterdam UMC and Outbreak Management Team member, Menno de Jong in an interview with AT5. “If the slight decline does not continue and at the same time, the English mutation starts to take over, then we are even more likely to think about stricter measures.”
Due to the increasing number of coronavirus infections, the Cabinet decided to implement a nationwide lockdown following the Outbreak Management Team’s (OMT) advice.
The Cabinet, the public health institute RIVM, and other stakeholders will meet on Sunday in the Prime Minister’s official residence, the Catshuis, to discuss the coronavirus crisis. On the table is a potential extension of the current lockdown, expected to end on January 19. A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday in which Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jong will announce how the Netherlands plans to continue after that date.
According to Menno de Jong, the country is not yet ready to lift the lockdown. “In view of all the challenges, we are certainly not against easing. Over the next one to two weeks, we have to see whether this slight decline will continue. If this does not continue and at the same time the English variant starts to take the upper hand, we are more likely to think about stricter measures,” explains the virologist.
He continues by saying that “the current measures should suffice, provided that all basic measures are adhered to. The urgent advice is still to work from home, one should really stick to it. If we do that, then I hope in the coming weeks, when the Christmas effect is gone, that we will see that decrease.”
According to De Jong, the current measures should certainly be extended until the end of the month. “We don’t want a third wave,” he emphasized.