OMT asks Dutch government not to rush into relaxing restrictions
The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has called on the Dutch government not to rush when it comes to relaxing the national coronavirus restrictions, stating that moving too quickly could lead to a summer with even more measures.
Dutch government hopes to lift several restrictions on May 19
At the press conference on May 11, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced that, if hospital admissions fall by 20 percent by Monday, May 17, a handful of coronavirus restrictions would be lifted on May 19. Rutte said he expected the relaxations to go ahead, but warned that caution was necessary in order to limit pressure on the Dutch healthcare system.
The OMT had been the ones to ask that no measures were lifted until the number of daily hospital admissions had fallen by at least 20 percent. Now, medical experts have reiterated this advice, asking the government not to rush into the relaxations planned for next week.
OMT: Rushing now could lead to more measures over the summer
Experts argue that while it might be easy to decide to lift restrictions now, it would be infinitely harder to reintroduce them over the summer. They also point out that, if measures are lifted too early, it could mean that the Netherlands faces an increasingly overworked healthcare system and a summer with more restrictions.
In their most recent advice to the government, the OMT insists that the average number of coronavirus hospitalisations must decrease by 15 to 20 percent before any further relaxation can be justified. The experts point out that, while current models show that next week’s relaxation might be possible, it isn’t necessarily advisable.
RIVM reports decline in number of coronavirus hospitalisations
On Tuesday, the RIVM reported that, between May 5 and May 11, there had been 47.108 new coronavirus infections and 1.379 hospitalisations. In their weekly report, they wrote that while this did mark a noticeable decline in the number of hospital admissions, the 20 percent required by the OMT was not yet evident and pressure on hospitals remained high.