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Cabinet under fire for keeping schools open

“It is not that I want those schools to remain open if necessary,” said Prime Minister Rutte, “but I follow the advice of experts who say that the medical risks in children are considerably less. And I listen to bodies that say if we close schools, we will miss a lot of people in sectors such as healthcare, the GGDs, the fire brigade and the police. ” The Prime Minister strongly contradicted the issue of “playing with human lives”.

No fine if the child stays at home

In addition to the PVV, the Forum for Democracy, Party for the Animals, 50Plus, Denk and PvdA also think that schools can be closed better. However, the latter party did not agree with a PVV motion to close the schools immediately. The motion was not accepted.

A motion stating that parents who keep their children at home should not be fined for this made it.

‘The Netherlands is rebelling’

Wilders thinks the cabinet will not close the decision to close the schools soon. will come back. “I predict that if you keep this up, the Netherlands will revolt. People will take children out of school and teachers will report sick. And I agree with them right away”.

GroenLinks leader Klaver asked the cabinet to ensure that more resources go to schools to fight the virus. According to Klaver, it is already quite a task for a family at home to always wash their hands, let alone for a teacher with dozens of children. And who always keeps cleaning all the door handles at schools, Klaver wonders.

D66 thinks that the school leaders have a great responsibility, especially in Brabant, and asks the cabinet to look again at whether schools should not close there.

Concerns about care

There are also serious concerns in the Chamber about health care and whether it can cope with everything now that the number of infections is increasing.

PVV leader Wilders: “There are not enough places in the intensive care unit. Why has it not already been arranged that there is sufficient capacity?” Wilders refers to Italy where there are too many patients and too few places and doctors have to “choose who to help”. “We need to get this sorted out now.”

According to minister Bruins (Medical Care), there are still sufficient IC beds. Of the more than six hundred infected people, most are at home, says Bruins. In hospitals, 250 IC beds are reserved for corona patients, which can be scaled up to 1100 if necessary, according to the minister.

There are also questions about limiting economic damage. According to Minister Hoekstra (Finance), the Cabinet will “do everything to limit damage as much as possible”. Up to 60 percent of the national debt could be spent. Converted, it could be 90 billion euros. MPs want to know more about the specific measures that the government could take with this.

Many MPs understand the feeling of some Dutch people that it seems that in our country the measures are getting late. According to PVV and Forum, that is also the case. PVV leader Wilders: “The government is always behind the scenes and a lot of time is lost.”

Rutte: we are not behind

Rutte contradicts that. “We always take all the measures that are necessary at the stages we are in. We have to constantly weigh up and rely on advisors. It is not because it is now going faster than we thought we were behind.”

Rutte also responded to another wish in Parliament about banning flights from high-risk countries. The Cabinet is investigating whether this is possible, but would first like to find out whether this does not endanger the supply of medicines. If for that reason it is not possible to ban flights, the Cabinet wants to see whether passengers from risk countries can be tested, as part of the House wants.

Watch the videos of the debate below, in which Rutte and Wilders, among others, clash about keeping schools open.

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