Society itself must also prepare for a new corona wave, says Kuipers

Minister Kuipers of Health calls on the sectors in society to prepare for a new wave of corona infections in the autumn. โ€œMake your own plan,โ€ he says in a conversation with CCEIT. He thus responds to the criticism that hospital directors, virologists and scientists expressed this morning.

They fear new lockdowns, because the cabinet policy is too non-committal in their view and the elaboration of the plans takes too long. According to them, the Netherlands is ill-prepared for a new wave of corona, because there is no clear strategy.

Heres how Kuipers responds to that criticism:

The minister acknowledges that we are not yet well prepared in the Netherlands, but he puts the ball emphatically with the sectors in society. He also expects a resurgence of the virus from the autumn. โ€œWe may get 5 to 10 million infections in the winter season.โ€ But unlike the past two years, Kuipers does not want the government, but the various sectors in society to take control of the virus.

Kuipers: โ€œWhat I can do is to monitor the virus properly, announce a new vaccination round if necessary and encourage care to take all measures. But at the same time, the question for the school or the restaurateur is: what do you do in your own environment?โ€

The Hague is no longer solely responsible

โ€œCorona really belongs to all of us, The Hague is no longer solely responsible,โ€ says the minister. โ€œThe sectors and the citizens themselves say: let us take control.โ€ Still, not all sectors are well prepared.

The last corona lockdown had major consequences for the mental health of many Dutch young people. This is confirmed by new joint research by, among others, the RIVM and the GGD. Student Maren Porte made the podcast Mental Tea about it:

According to Kuipers, for example, there are still hospitals that do not have a good plan for scaling up care if the virus comes back. In the hospitality industry, too, insufficient thought is still being given to options to stay open safely.

One sector where things are going well, says Kuipers, is education. โ€œThey have fantastic plans there for low-threshold testing, better ventilation in classrooms and even shifting holidays when there is an infection peak.โ€

Testing and Vaccination

Kuipers wants to avoid heavy measures as much as possible next winter. But if the mandatory wearing of a face mask in public transport and a new vaccination round can help, these are measures that, according to him, hurt as little as possible.

According to Kuipers,

such a vaccination round and the large-scale testing by the GGDs can be set up within six weeks, according to Kuipers. Due to the impending new wave, the Netherlands must also take into account a high absenteeism rate in the autumn, says Kuipers.