Wednesday 10 August 2022

Experts say Dutch corona strategy is breaching constitutional rights

The group wants face masks to return in public places. Photo: Brandon Hartley

A group of disease specialists plan to take the Dutch government to the human rights council unless it takes action to pre-empt a new wave of coronavirus infections in the autumn.

The group, which includes members of the independent ‘Red Team’ that acted as an unofficial advice body in the first wave of the pandemic, published an open letter to health minister Ernst Kuipers in the AD on Wednesday.

They called on the minister to ‘take responsibility’ and protect the ‘constitutional right’ of vulnerable people not to suffer unnecessary harm.

‘Many citizens don’t want to be infected, but your policies leave them with no choice,’ they wrote.

‘We are seeing violations of the constitution on several levels,’ the group wrote. ‘That shouldn’t be happening.’

They asked why the minister had not reinstated basic rules such as mandating face masks in busy public spaces, as well as hospitals, and was not extending the fourth vaccine dose to people under the age of 60.

If Kuipers fails to remedy the situation quickly, the group has warned it will take its case to the human rights council College voor de Rechten van de Mens.

In the last four weeks the number of positive tests per day has trebled from 2,000 to 6,000, although the trend has slowed down since the start of July.

There are currently 926 patients in hospital with Covid-19, the highest number since the last week of April, but less than 5% of them are being treated in intensive care.

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