The government is mulling on new anti-corona measures, after the unprecedented surge in infections. On Thursday, the RIVM reported 5475 positive tests. It was almost seven times more than a week ago.
The cabinet has requested urgent advice from the Outbreak Management Team (OMT). The cabinet may decide to close clubs and discotheques again and cancel multi-day events for the time being.
The situation was rather better in recent weeks. Since the end of April, the number of positive tests dropped rapidly. The authorities prepared for a quiet summer. But the virus came back forcefully in the past week. There are 16,153 positive cases in the last seven days. That is almost as many as three weeks before. Most of them are in their twenties and many have contracted the coronavirus in the hospitality industry.
‘Very difficult message’
“The past few weeks everyone has been looking forward to the summer, with good weather and relaxed corona rules,” Kenny Meesters of Tilburg University told the radio program Wakker on Friday morning. “Many people felt they’re lucky, to get the taste of ‘new life’ -with festivals, and vacations. But it’ll be difficult to put the genie back into the bottle.”The message from the government to the people is going to be “a very difficult one”, feels Meesters.
“In smaller groups”
He would therefore advise outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Hugo de Jonge to avoid giving out promises that say “it will be better again in two weeks”. The Press Conference is tonight. “After all, you lose trust by promising things you can’t deliver. I hope they will start encouraging people to help each other and look for alternatives.”
The Events and the festivals
He points to the festivals that were allowed to take place again last weekend. That happened for the first time in months, including in Erp and Breda. Ten thousand visitors visited those events. “Try to come in small groups to seek out that social contact,” he emphasizes. “So that it remains manageable.”
Meesters gives an example: “If you find it important to have social contact with friends, there may be opportunities in playing sports together outside. Then you don’t gather in a club, at a party with alcohol, but go for outdoor activities at a safe distance.”
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.