The cabinet had appointed a committee to think about a suitable way to commemorate the victims of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘It is important to commemorate the coronavirus crisis because of its enormous impact,’ junior health minister Maarten van Ooijen said. ‘A space needs to be created in which people can take time to think about lost loved ones or the conseqences of the pandemic on businesses or festivities. The crisis has left no one untouched.’
A national day or a physical memorial are among the possibilities considered.
The committee, headed by the king’s commissioner in Friesland Arno Blok, consists of 14 members drawn from all sectors in society including paralympic sportswoman Chantelle Zijderveld, broadcaster Max director Jan Slagter and safety council chief Hubert Bruls.
‘Processing, reflecting and looking ahead, that is the committee’s brief,’ Van Ooijen said. He emphasised that the pandemic is not over. ‘Many now feel it is time for recuperation but we must not forget the silent grief that many are experiencing.’
Nearly 31,400 people in the Netherlands died or probably died from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic up to the end of June 2021, national statistics agency CBS has calculated.
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