“A large part of the populace will become infected”- PM Rutte

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In a historic address to the nation speech, Prime Minister Mark Rutte told the Dutch people that the coronavirus is, and will remain among us, for the time being. “There is no easy or quick way out of this tough situation. The reality is also that a large part of the Dutch population will be infected with the virus in the near future”.

According to Rutte, most people will develop only mild symptoms. In that way, so-called herd immunity will be built up, which is essential to containing the virus. But that could take months or even longer. Until then, people in the Netherlands have to do everything they can to protect the most vulnerable people. “Our absolute priority is to minimise the risks to the elderly and those in poor health.”

“A lot of people will feel like we have been on a roller coaster for the last few weeks, which seems to be going faster and faster. For the measures being taken here and elsewhere are unprecedented for peacetime countries.” Rutte emphasized once again that they are following expert advice.

Maximum control

According to Rutte, the government chooses to control the virus as much as possible. They want to flatten out the peak in its spread and spread it over a longer time. In this way, immunity is going to be built up so that the health care system is able to handle it.

If the virus were uncontrolled, the care system would be completely overloaded. Vulnerable elderly and other patients could not be helped. “We must prevent that at all costs,” said the PM.

But trying endlessly to stop the virus is not an option, said the Prime Minister. “In that scenario, we would actually have to shut down our country for a year or even longer, with all the consequences that would entail.”

Businesses will get help

Rutte also touched on the concerns many people have about their work. “We are doing everything we can to make sure that companies do not collapse because of what is happening now and that people do not lose their jobs. It is going to be a difficult time anyway, but we will not let you down.”

He has asked for support for Cabinet policy. “This is a time when we have to accommodate each other, rather than disagree with or contradict one another. A time to put the common interest above our own interests.”

Rutte ended with an appeal, “We really have to do this with 17 million people. Together we can overcome this difficult time. Look out for each other. I am counting on you.”

source: www.nos.nl

Translator: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives Inburgering classes in Meerhoven. Click here for more info.

Editor: Melinda Walraven

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