The opposition in the House of Representatives finds it worrying that it is still unclear what the effect was of radical corona measures such as the curfew and the face mask requirement, especially now that the infections are rising again. The parties see in the report of the Research Council for Safety (OVV) a confirmation of what they have always called.
“Exactly! The effect of the restrictions on freedom is unclear”, says PVV MP Fleur Agema, “yet the minister of VWS has sent a law to the House to legally enshrine them.”
Agema is talking about a proposal to amend the Public Health Act, which will make it easier for the government to take measures if an epidemic occurs again.
‘Unfortunately no surprise‘
SP MP Maarten Hijink mentions the OVV‘s conclusion that too little is still known about the elaboration of the measures, “unfortunately no surprise, but still very fierce”. He says that the opposition often asked about the effects in the corona debates, but that the cabinet “never wanted to investigate them seriously”.
“The cabinet is just messing around,” says PvdA leader Attje Kuiken. “Still no good evaluations or substantiated plans. And the infection rates are rising again. I’d love to see an approach that everyone can rely on with confidence.”
‘Cabinet, learn and evaluate‘
Lisa Westerveld of GroenLinks tweeted that everyone understands that things go wrong in a crisis. “But to combat the virus effectively and maintain support, we need to know what works. That‘s why we’re calling on the cabinet: learn and evaluate.”
The OVV issued a second report on the corona approach this morning. The conclusion is that it is still unclear whether controversial measures have helped, because the cabinet has barely “monitored and evaluated” the effects.
The cabinet says it will study the latest OVV report in the coming weeks. Then it comes with a comprehensive response to the findings and recommendations.
The RIVM also does not yet provide a comprehensive substantive response to the report. The institute says that, on the recommendation of the OVV, it will draw up so-called “rules of procedure” for the OMT. In a general sense, such regulations contain basic agreements about division of roles and division of tasks.
The GGD says it is pleased with the recognition of the research council. The OVV concluded that the slow start of the first vaccination round was not the fault of the GGDs. The cabinet was so focused on the scenario that GPs would sting that the GGDs were “only instructed in December to set up large-scale vaccination locations as of the beginning of January”.
Due to a major effort by umbrella organization GGD GHOR and the GGDs, the backlog with other countries was caught up in the first quarter of 2021, the report states. “That is why I would like to congratulate the thousands of people who have worked to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Both the many permanent GGD employees and the people who provided temporary support,” says CEO André Rouvoet to the ANP.