Cabinet chose riskiest scenario in lockdown relaxations: ICU expert
By easing the coronavirus measures in various sectors, the cabinet opted for the "riskiest scenario", said the chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC), Diederik Gommers. "Rutte says that he aims to keep healthcare manageable, but he has opted with the scenario with the most risks. That contradicts each other."
The ICU doctor is also a member of the Outbreak Management Team, which proposed three levels of relaxations to the cabinet. According to Gommers, nothing would change in the first scenario. In the second, there would be limited relaxation, with the use of the coronavirus access pass. "But in that scenario, for example, festivals should not yet be allowed." In the third scenario, there would be more relaxation in more sectors, also with the use of the access pass. The cabinet announced the latter on Tuesday evening.
"In the second scenario you also relax, for example you also let go of the 1.5 meter rule," said Gommers. "But you open fewer sectors at once, so you can better see if things are going well before moving on." He thinks it is strange that caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte "emphasizes how important he thinks it is that we can provide care for everyone, while he is now taking more risks."
Healthcare can become overloaded again if too many people end up in hospital at the same time, the Ministers also stated on Tuesday evening. Gommers believes that the cabinet should have made clearer agreements with healthcare workers. "If things unexpectedly go wrong in the hospitals, the care workers will have to deliver again. While they actually have little left in them. Then give something in return as cabinet. Agree, for example, that there will be an allowance if it has to be scaled up again. Care workers are now under extra stress, because people will start partying again."
Reporting by ANP