The Dutch Acting Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, apologized this Monday for what it called a “miscalculation” when it came to accelerating the de-escalation at the end of June, which led to a re-outbreak of coronavirus infections, and led last Friday to the recovery of some restrictions, just two weeks after lifting.
“What we thought was possible turned out to be wrong in practice. We made a miscalculation we are disappointed by it and we apologize”, Rutte assured journalists, after criticizing him and his Minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge, for not taking responsibility when the new restrictions were announced.
The acting prime minister regretted that last Friday did not give his “best press conference” because both he and De Jonge were “too busy thinking about the restrictions” that they had not been “self-critical enough” and were not well prepared, he added.
“You asked us for our reflection and it was unfair that we did not give it”Rutte lamented, after both rejected criticism of the Government for having lifted practically all restrictions on June 26, ending confinement and the mandatory use of masks indoors.
Rutte said Friday that the decision to have relaxed all restrictions was “Logical and responsible at that time” and he already expected an increase in infections, but that, suddenly, it seems that “it is going faster than the calculations said.”
The Health Minister also acknowledged that what is known as “Dancing with Janssen” was another “miscalculation.” Said who received a single dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson “in the morning”, or the second from Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca, “they could go to a disco that same night”, without waiting the two weeks necessary for real protection.
De Jonge assured that he wanted to encourage the youngest to get vaccinated and stressed today that “Often you have to err on the side of caution” in the subjects where there is no certainty, also in the test access system, in which a negative certificate or full vaccination was requested to access the discos and nightclubs, which allowed customers to forget about the meter and a half of distance.
The lack of social distance and confidence in antigen tests and that those vaccinated did not carry the virus led many to trust themselves, leading to multiple outbreaks in discos and clubs, which led to the closure of all nightlife on Friday, that had been closed throughout the pandemic, until June 26, and It only lasted two weeks open, with infections from day one.
In addition to the closure of nightlife, the Dutch Government imposed new restrictions until August 13, which include the limitation of hours in the hospitality industry and the application of standards to the culture sector.
Daily infections in the Netherlands are already around 10,000 cases, after two weeks ago they were registered up to 600 a day. Rutte today showed his hope that infections will be reduced again soon because this is “a sensible country,” he added.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.