The government's plans to extend the corona measures until 28 June can count on unanimous support from the House of Representatives. At the same time, part of the House is deeply concerned about the capacity in the intensive care unit and several parties are wondering whether it is not time for extra measures.
"What other steps can we take to prevent even more people from ending up in intensive care?" This question, which GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver asked the cabinet, was the focus of the debate on extending corona measures on Wednesday.
"Renewal is wise," says Geert Wilders (PVV). "And RIVM is cautiously optimistic, but the reality is jet black. Next Sunday, 2,400 IC beds will be needed. How will the government arrange this? And what if the ICs overflow?"
Earlier in the day, a briefing with Diederik Gommers, chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC), showed that the emergency scenario in which more patients end up in intensive care than hospitals can take into account. What the care will look like if the number exceeds 2,400 IC patients, he said he did not know.
When is there a crisis situation?
Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA) wants clarification from the cabinet. The third phase, in which there is a crisis scenario that Gommers spoke about earlier, can only be determined by the minister. "When will that crisis decision be made," asks Asscher.
He wants to know on the basis of which facts and conditions this black scenario exists, which means that the minister must decide who can and who cannot end up on the IC. Asscher asks the cabinet whether it is possible to scale up to 3,000 beds and what is needed for this.
The inconvenience is felt by almost all parties in the House, where a number of groups also want clarification about how it is possible that the models of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) deviate from reality. "How have the calculation models let us down like this?", Says Lilian Marijnissen.
Chamber wants more measures
And although there is parliament-wide support for extending the measures, part of the House wonders whether the cabinet should go any further.
For example, CDA member Pieter Heerma is amazed that no checks are carried out on flights from the corona fire in New York. He also receives signals that Germans plan to go to the Netherlands during the May holiday. He advocates border controls. Klaver agrees and also wants a compulsory closure of holiday parks before the May period. But there is more that he can do. Together with Asscher, he wonders why religious meetings with a maximum of thirty people are still allowed.
During the afternoon, the cabinet will answer Parliament's questions.
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The coronavirus in short
- The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person via sneezing and cough drops. The chance of becoming infected through surfaces such as door handles is small. This chance decreases if you wash your hands often.
- You can considerably reduce the chance of spreading by keeping at least 1.5 meters away from others.
- An infected person infects two to three others on average. Precautions are necessary to contain this.
- The vast majority of patients have mild (flu-like) complaints.
- Almost all deaths involve the elderly or other vulnerable persons, such as heart, lung or diabetes patients. If everyone complies with the measures, this reduces their risks.
- Read here what precautions you should take.