Outbreak team members worried about election safety
Several members of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) are concerned about the spread of the coronavirus during the parliamentary elections coming up in March. "It simply has risks, you'll have to calculate them," medical microbiologist and OMT member Jan Kluytmans said to NRC.
The government has not yet asked the OMT for advice on holding the parliamentary elections as planned. Election day is on March 17, but many polling stations will also open on March 15 and 16, to spread out voters more.
According to the OMT members NRC spoke to, there is still a lot of uncertainty about what the coronavirus situation will look like in mid-March and that also makes the safety of the elections uncertain.
"If you get [an infection] peak then, it will be a very bad time to bring a lot of people together, such as during elections," medical microbiologist and OMT member Marc Bonten said to the newspaper. "The question is: what epidemiological risk are you willing to take?"
A handful of mayors also raised concerns about the upcoming elections. They worry about the elections turning into a super-spreader event on the one hand, and voters staying away from the polls because they fear catching the coronavirus on the other.