“Security services warned earlier about pandemic”


This is evident from research by NRC Handelsblad. From 2016, the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism will prepare security analyzes. Experts from RIVM, TNO, AIVD and NCTV contributed to this and the dangers of a pandemic emerged.

‘Outbreak real’

The National Security Strategy that was presented last year, a policy document on which the government bases its security plans, even paid attention to the preparation for a pandemic. “The risk of an outbreak of a (serious) infectious disease such as an influenza pandemic remains real”, the document said. “The national government implements policy at a strategic level to be prepared for this.”

Nevertheless, there is currently a shortage of IC beds.

Yesterday it was announced that the number of corona patients in IC beds has risen to 761. According to Minister Hugo de Jonge, the number of available beds will increase to 1600 next week.

‘Harder than expected’

Diederik Gommers of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care (NVIC) confirms that the Netherlands can handle this expansion. “If we collect all the things together,” he says in NRC. According to him, the peak for the number of IC beds needed is at the end of May. Gommers has doubts about the next phase of expansion. “Then it goes faster than we thought.”

Experts criticize the preparation of the cabinet. “Our preparations for a pandemic have been especially symbolic,” said Ira Helsloot, professor of security governance. “Plans have been written for it, but we were not prepared in a material sense.”

“Urgency displaces importance”

“Warnings in scenarios are mainly used in politics to confirm their own position,” says Leiden researcher Ed Dammers, who advocates a parliamentary investigation and an evaluation of the preparations. “Politics are focused on the short term: urgency displaces importance.”

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