Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England Dr. Jenny Harries give a coronavirus briefing and defend adviser Cummings for defying lockdown.
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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, obeying The Netherlands’ ban on nursing home visitations during the coronavirus pandemic, did not visit his ailing mother for weeks before her death earlier this month, according to local media reports Monday.
Rutte made the announcement Monday that his mother, Mieke Rutte-Dilling, 96, died in a nursing home in The Hague on May 13, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported, according to Business Insider. That same day, the prime minister attended a Cabinet meeting on the country’s coronavirus response.
Though his mother did not die from COVID-19, there had been an outbreak at her same nursing home.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte holds a press conference in The Hague, Netherlands, on May 19, 2020, after a consultation with the Ministerial Crisis Management Committee (MCCb) about the emergency measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Bart Maat / ANP / AFP)
“The prime minister has complied with all directives” to curb the spread of infection since the country’s lockdown was announced on March 15, Rutte’s spokesperson told Agence France-Presse (AFP), according to The Guardian.
This comes as a United Kingdom minister Dominic Cummings, a close adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is under fire after admitting to breaking the country’s lockdown restrictions to drive from his home in London to his parents’ Durham farm on March 27. Cummings told reporters Monday that he believed he was acting “reasonably” and within the confines of the law in making the cross-England journey to care for his wife and children, despite experiencing coronavirus symptoms.
“In addition to the great sadness and all fond memories, my family and I also have a feeling of gratitude that we were allowed to have her with us for so long,” Rutte said Monday. “We have now said goodbye to her in a family circle and hope to be able to deal with this great loss in peace in the near future.”
The Netherlands, which implemented an “intelligent lockdown” with less strict limitations compared to other European countries, had restricted the public from visiting nursing homes and other extended-care facilities since March 20.
On Monday, the government allowed visitation to resume at some facilities, before all nursing homes can begin welcoming visitors again on June 15.