Police protection for healthcare workers is needed if code black is reached: Gommers
Member of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) Diederick Gommers said that if the Netherlands announces code black due to rising coronavirus infections, healthcare workers will require police protection. "If we reach code black, then what we saw in Rotterdam is peanuts," Gommers said on Op1. The OMT member was referring to heavy riots that broke out in the center of the Maasstad on Friday evening, injuring several people and destroying parts of the city center.
Gommers expected similar situations to occur more frequently in the Netherlands. "If the situation gets to the point where there is a shortage of hospital beds and we have to make choices then, healthcare workers will require police or military protection," Gommers said.
The measures the government introduced last week have shown little effect. Coronavirus infections numbers reached a record average of 18,688 on Friday. "We need to see changes in the coming three to four days. Otherwise, we will have to intervene quickly," Gommers said. The OMT has specifically been looking at the number of Covid-19 patients in the ICU to determine if the restrictions are effective.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said earlier this week that there is no need for a code black for the time being.
Gommers said harsher measures, comparable to the Covid-19 vaccination obligation Austria will introduce in February, will be necessary if nothing else works. "That is the last button we can turn." He wants the Cabinet to take a tougher approach when it comes to their coronavirus policy.
Gommers said the OMT would hold their scheduled meeting on Wednesday earlier if the medical experts believe it is necessary.