If the situation in the Netherlands worsens, the Dutch government may need to implement new coronavirus precautions, according to Minister of Health, Welfare, and Sports, Ernst Kuipers. Consequently, the plan will put a premium on keeping daycare facilities and schools open. 

“Omicron BA.2 is the most prevalent covid variant in the Netherlands and it leads to mild illness. The positive infection count is declining, likewise hospitalizations and ICU admissions,” said Kuipers. “However, according to the RIVM, there has been a resurgence. The novel BA.5 and BA.4 variants are increasing in popularity, and it is estimated they will likely dominate the Netherlands infections soon.”

So far, no reports suggest the new variants are more invasive compared to the BA.2 according to Kuipers. However, he stated that it might result in more stress on the healthcare sector, particularly if there is a sudden rise in worker absenteeism.

Perchance the government has plans to prevent covid spread in the future, shutting schools is “the last option” except if the staff, students, and pupils, are at “direct risk,” Kuipers wrote. 

The Ministry of Public Health has announced that a possible prospective variant of the coronavirus may require booster immunizations. The Netherlands will maintain sufficient vaccine doses on hand to “provide the whole Dutch inhabitants with a second vaccination,” according to Kuipers. 

However, he acknowledged that vaccines must be modified for fresh mutants. “Since these new vaccines in the first phase may not be able to meet the (international) need, there could be a vaccine shortage in this case as well.”

The health department can now vaccinate three hundred thousand individuals each week. When required, the GGD will ramp that up to five hundred thousand vaccinations each week within 3 weeks and in further 3 weeks, 1.5 million vaccinations.

GGD will only ramp up testing to 15,000 each day in 2 weeks or one hundred thousand tests each day after 3 weeks if self-testing kits prove inaccurate in detecting new mutant strains. 

According to the Health Minister preventing lockdown is a “shared responsibility that includes preventive strategy.” The rapid rise in cases and hospital admissions will need detailed measures in the healthcare system, additional jabs, and likely other steps that will impact society.

The outcome for businesses is uncertain. Social distancing, splash and cough screens, and regulated walking routes are measures that may help the health sector. “Deliberations between all sectors and the Cabinet will persist as well as investigations into the legality of covid access pass,” said Kuipers. 

According to Kuipers tracking the pandemic now involves broad testing and sewage monitoring of more than three hundred locations across Dutch locations. 

Because the emphasis is now on self-testing, the sewage analysis delivers a more precise image of the virus’s existence. The authorities are also maintaining trail of how often patients report Covid-19 symptoms.

The Cabinet also favored Jolande Sap, a former GroenLinks MP, to lead the government’s recent Social Impact Team (MIT), charged with the role of advising the Cabinet on the likely impact of covid policies on the economy and society. 

Kuipers heralded her job with various firms and social associations saying she has the ability to be a “link connecting the diverse views” the MIT will be scrutinizing.

“When precautions or adjustments are required, the concerned ministries will, based on Cabinet recommendation, consult with both the MIT and Outbreak Management Team in parallel, for appropriate measures. The same proposition will be contained in the appeals for guidance to theMIT and OMT, but they’ll specialize in dissimilar areas of knowledge.,” Kuipers clarified.

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