Through the hashtag #vierdagenextra, among others, critics on Twitter questioned the government’s intention to consider 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 about it on his website that the figures of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) are behind schedule. Some of the positive tests reported by RIVM on a day were sometimes determined by the GGDs one or more days ago due to the processing time. RIVM itself also regularly indicates this.
In addition, it takes an average of five to six days for someone with COVID-19 to develop symptoms. It may also take a few more days for that person to get tested and get a result.
Nevertheless, Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) said on Saturday that it is “inevitable” that new, additional measures will be taken if the number of positive tests continues to rise. Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the developments this weekend earlier this week “crucial”.
The cabinet wants to give a definitive answer on Tuesday
Only two weeks ago, the cabinet indicated that the catering industry had to close its doors earlier. There was also a restriction on the number of people allowed to come together. Despite these measures, more than 6,000 positive tests were added on both Saturday and Sunday.
On Tuesday, the cabinet therefore wants to give a definite answer about any new measures, after the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has come together. But is it indeed too early to say anything about the effect of the latest measures?
RIVM: Weekend figures do not provide any insight for the time being
A spokesman for the RIVM tells NU.nl that it is not possible to make statements about the success of the measures two weeks ago based on the number of new positive tests this weekend.
The institute uses the test figures, for example, to calculate the reproduction number. That shows how many other people each COVID patient infects on average. This number accurately reflects the situation of the outbreak in the Netherlands, but can only be calculated with certainty for two weeks due to the delay in the reporting system.
It is not without reason that De Jonge described reign in corona time in May as “navigating through the rear-view mirror”.
VWS: Looking at more than last measures
“By definition, the numbers are lagging behind reality,” said the spokesman. 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 previous measures.
When considering possible new measures, the government is looking beyond just the effects of the latest interventions, the spokesman said. For example, in mid-September measures were also introduced in the major cities, initially for six “regions of concern” and later more. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and De Jonge Nederlanders also made additional demands on compliance with the measures.
“Yet the infection rate is currently 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.”