Prime Minister Rutte: Large part of population will get coronavirus
In a rather historical speech, the first national address by a prime minister since the 1970s, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte addressed the country on live TV from The Hague.
The prime minister started his speech by giving his condolences to the families of the people who have died of Covid-19 and acknowledging the concerns of the Dutch people. “Tonight, my message is a difficult one. The coronavirus is here to stay. There is no quick escape out of this situation. A large part of the population will get infected by the virus.”
Three possible scenarios
In his speech, Rutte mentioned that there were three possible scenarios:
- Trying to get maximum control over the virus, a.k.a flattening the curve. This way, we will build herd immunity to protect the elderly and immunocompromised, and our health care system will not collapse.
- Let the virus spin out of control, something which we will have to avoid at all costs.
- A nationwide lockdown. This is an option many countries are choosing, but is not preferable according to the experts, as a lockdown would probably last for months if not a year.
The Dutch government has chosen to go with the first scenario, to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible. However, the prime minister also stated that there is always a possibility that extra measures will be taken if the experts deem it necessary.
Businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers
The prime minister also addressed the growing concerns of businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers in the Netherlands, saying “The cabinet will do what it takes to support you.” What this support will entail, will be announced in the upcoming days.
The common good
Prime Minister Rutte ended his speech by asking the public to put the common good above self- interest: “There is a great task ahead of us. We will have to do it together. Together, we will overcome this. Take care of each other. I’m counting on you. Thank you.”