Through the hashtag #vierdagenextra, among other things, critics on Twitter question the government’s intention to announce new corona measures on Tuesday. Due to the nature of the corona figures, the effect of the latest measures would not yet be visible.
Opinion pollster Maurice de Hond wrote on his website that the figures of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) are not completely up to date. Some of the positive tests reported by the RIVM on a day were sometimes determined by the GGDs one or more days ago due to the processing time. The institute itself also makes this known.
In addition, it takes an average of five to six days for an infected person to develop symptoms. It may also take several days for this person to get tested and get a result.
Nevertheless, Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) said on Saturday that new, additional measures are “inevitable” if the number of positive tests continues to increase significantly. Prime Minister Mark Rutte previously called the developments of last weekend “crucial”.
The cabinet wants to give a definitive answer on Tuesday
Just two weeks ago, the cabinet announced that catering establishments throughout the Netherlands must close their doors earlier. There was also a restriction on the number of people allowed to meet. Despite these measures, more than 6,000 positive tests were added on both Saturday and Sunday.
After the members of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) have come together, the cabinet wants to give a definite answer about any new measures. Is it indeed too early on Tuesday to say anything about the effect of the latest measures?
RIVM: Weekend figures do not yet provide any insight
A spokesman for the RIVM tells NU.nl that it is impossible to make statements about the success of the measures that were introduced two weeks ago based on the number of new positive tests from last weekend.
The institute uses the test figures, for example, to calculate the reproduction number. That shows how many other people infected each COVID-19 patient on average. This number accurately reflects the situation of the outbreak in the Netherlands, but due to the delay in the reporting system, a reliable reproduction number cannot be calculated until two weeks later.
It is not without reason that De Jonge described reign in corona time in May as “navigating through the rear-view mirror”.
Ministry: Looking at more than last measures
“By definition, the figures lag behind reality,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. According to him, De Jonge never wanted to give the impression that the weekend figures already give an accurate picture of the effect of the latest measures.
In its consideration, the cabinet does not only look at the effect of the latest interventions, according to the spokesman. For example, measures were introduced in the major cities in mid-September. Initially this happened in six “worrying regions” and later elsewhere. In addition, Prime Minister Rutte and De Jonge Nederlanders made additional demands on compliance with the measures.
“Yet the infection rate is still too high at the moment. Meanwhile, the pressure on healthcare is also increasing and the number of corona patients in hospitals is increasing every day.”
“You see an increase and you have to anticipate that,” said the spokesman. “Because if it continues and we do nothing, then we will lag behind the facts.”