Extending the curfew a good idea, head of ICU network says
It seems likely that the government will extend the curfew next week, with multiple members of the Outbreak Management Team advocating for doing so. Ernst Kuipers, head of national acute care network LNAZ, called it "very sensible" because of the spread of the more contagious B117 variant of the coronavirus, speaking on Op1 on Tuesday.
"It is a very complex situation," Kuipers said on the talk show. "People are also seeing that: infections are going down, the number of patients with Covid-19 in hospitals is decreasing very slowly. But at the same time, we see that the British variant is quickly taking over."
On Tuesday, public health institute RIVM reported that the majority of new coronavirus infections last week were the B117 strain, first identified in the United Kingdom.
According to Kuipers, this shows that "the current set of measures" is actually not enough to stop the advance of the B117 variant. To do that, the population needs to be vaccinated as quickly as possible and the number of infections must be kept "at a low level as long as possible", he said.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the government asked the Outbreak Management Team to advise the cabinet again on the current package of lockdown measures, including the curfew, which was implemented on January 23 and is set to expire on February 10. That advice is expected by the end of this week, Rutte said.