Critics speak out against Cabinet plans to relax coronavirus measures
Two of the government’s top healthcare advisors have denounced rumored Cabinet plans to begin relaxing some of the coronavirus lockdown measures within two weeks.
The government has always emphasized the reduction of pressure in intensive care units as one of the most important criteria that has to be met prior to any relaxation of the measures. Experts have questioned if the relaxation can be justified at a time when many hospitals are facing additional pressure and are seeing an increased influx of Covid-19 patients.
Among those most critical of the government’s plan was medical microbiologist Marc Bonten, who is also a member of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT). On Wednesday morning, he tweeted that the government’s new approach was an “Unusual development at a moment when hospitals are experiencing enormous pressure: ICUs and wards overcrowded, staff sick leave at 20%, and patient numbers keep increasing”.
Prominent intensive care doctor Diederik Gommers also criticized the government’s new plan. He said it was good to prepare future plans, but that they should only be implemented once the third peak of infections ends.
“I would much rather wait for the peak to pass. The plans were due to take effect in fourteen days, let’s hope by that time the decrease in infections will already be noticeable.” Gommers explained Wednesday night on the RTL program Beau.
A total of 2,558 people with Covid-19 were being treated in Dutch hospitals on Wednesday afternoon, up ten percent in just a week. That total included 776 patients in intensive care, the most in nearly a year.