Delete the opening parties of the carnival season that take place indoors, is the appeal of board chairman Jan den Boon of the Regional Consultation Acute Care (ROAZ) to the carnival associations, now that the number of corona patients in the hospital is rising fast. Mayor Patrick Welman of ‘carnival city’ Oldenzaal sees no reason for the time being to cancel the opening party of the carnival this weekend. Does he ignore the call of the hospital administrator?
Jan Den Boon, also chairman of the board of hospital MST in Enschede, sees a great risk of contamination in the carnival parties that take place indoors. “My advice is to think about the large-scale indoor events. Healthcare is already heavily burdened, we can no longer make that happen,” he said yesterday.
However, Welman does not intend to cancel the Leedkes festival, which kicks off the Oldenzaal carnival on Saturday. “The eleventh of the eleventh is not a tradition like it is in the south of the country,” he says.
According to the mayor, a ‘very modest’ group is coming to the opening party at the indoor location Rouwhorst this weekend. “It’s not thousands of people, you’re talking about 700 to 900 people.”
A spokesperson for outgoing minister Hugo de Jonge says in a response: “The mayor of Oldenzaal deals with events and considers whether this can be done safely or not. We are of course in a difficult time now, especially for healthcare. We urgently advise the central government to adhere to the general measures to keep healthcare accessible to all of us.”
The number of corona patients in Dutch hospitals has increased by almost a fifth in a week, RIVM reports today.
Hospital director Den Boon pointed out yesterday that the hospitals in Twente are already at their limit in terms of number of corona patients. The Isala in Zwolle is also full. “If we allow large indoor events to take place, the consequence is that there will still be an influx of patients to hospitals, at the expense of people who need other, planable care.”
De Kadolstermennekes, the association that organizes the carnival in Oldenzaal, does not want to respond substantively despite repeated questions.