Members of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Attje Kuiken of the Labour Party PvdA and Antje Diertens of the Democrats D66 are concerned about the COVID-19 developments on the Dutch Caribbean islands and seek clarity from government.
The two Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday posed a list of written questions to State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops in relation to the recent increase of COVID-19 infections and health care, in particular in Aruba, Bonaire and St. Eustatius.
The MPs wanted to know if the state secretary was aware of and what his opinion was on the exceptions that the public entity St. Eustatius has been making for persons from unsafe countries with regard to the obligatory 14-day quarantine period.
Knops was asked whether he had been in touch with the public entity St. Eustatius to ask how many times this exception had been made, for whom and the reasons why. The MPs requested that this information be shared with Parliament.
Kuiken and Diertens specifically enquired about the inspector for corona-virus tests, who turned out to be COVID-19-positive after his arrival in St. Eustatius last week. The inspector in question was exempted from the quarantine. The MPs wanted to know where and when the inspector had been tested.
“Do you agree that the exemption from quarantine without a prior test leads to undesired health risks and that this case has resulted in other undesired additional consequences for St. Eustatius, such as stricter measures and a curfew? If you agree, what measures are you going to take to limit the use of exempting people from quarantining by the public entity St. Eustatius?”
The MPs were also worried about the recent spike in COVID-19 infections in Aruba, and the urgent situation that has developed at Horacio Oduber Hospital as a result. They asked whether the state secretary had been in touch with the Aruba government to discuss this matter.
“Do you see possibilities to support Aruba to get through this crisis? What consequences does the situation in Aruba have for health care in Bonaire, which still does not have active Intensive Care Units (ICUs) for coronavirus and does not have test capacity?”
Kuiken and Diertens asked whether Knops was willing to strengthen the medical capacity in Bonaire so the island can provide for its own intensive medical (corona) care and to also set up independent testing capacity so full, local testing can be done.
The MPs further wanted to know whether a second deployment of the Dutch Navy’s largest ship HMNLS Karel Doorman has been considered to support medical care in Bonaire and the other islands. Kuiken and Diertens also asked for an overview of the developments in the Dutch Caribbean with regard to the COVID-19 infections.
The Daily Herald.