New Covid measures won't be scrapped in three weeks, Kuipers says
The package of stricter coronavirus restrictions implemented on Sunday will very likely not be scrapped after three weeks, according to Ernst Kuipers, head of the national acute care network LNAZ. The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital is simply too high for that, he said, NU.nl reports.
When announcing the new measures in a press conference on Friday, caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said they would apply for at least three weeks. After that, the Cabinet will examine whether an extension is necessary. Rutte said he hoped the measures would only apply for three weeks so that we could have "a bit of a normal Christmas." But he would not give a clear answer on how realistic that hope was.
According to Kuipers, that hope was not realistic at all. Before the Cabinet can scrap measures, "we should really see a decrease in the number of infections, and that must last for some time," he said. Because the current infections and hospitalizations are at such a high level, that will likely not happen within three weeks. Kuipers noted that the number of Covid patients in the hospital would need to at least halve before measures can be scrapped. That number can be "combined well with regular care."
On Monday, the RIVM reported 48 coronavirus-related hospitalizations, about the same number as last week's daily average. A total of 2,780 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized, including 571 in intensive care.