A debate on coronavirus was adjourned mid-session Wednesday afternoon after the Dutch minister for medical care collapsed while standing at the dispatch box.
An address to the floor by right-wing populist and Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders was interrupted Wednesday when Bruno Bruins, the minister for medical care in the Dutch government who is one of the leaders of the nation’s coronavirus response collapsed at his desk. Bruins was helped to his feet by parliamentary ushers and government colleagues before walking from the chamber, the debate on coronavirus was then suspended until later Wednesday evening.
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that while it is not clear what caused government minister Bruins to collapse while standing at the front of the parliamentary chamber and whether he has been infected with coronavirus, he and others had been working “day and night” in the face of the health crisis, so simple exhaustion may be an element
The newspaper reports Bruins has now retired to bed for rest and to eat.
In a statement released Wednesday evening through his Twitter account, Bruno Bruins said an “intensive” few weeks had caused him to become exhausted and that he was going to his home to rest before returning to work on Thursday, intending to “fight coronavirus as well as possible”.
The debate had been on the Netherland’s response to the coronavirus, and to what extent the country could handle a shutdown of months or even years to weather the storm. Populist leader Mr Wilders had criticised the government for not going far enough with its responses, accusing the leadership of “playing Russian roulette” with the lives of the public by not shutting the country down harder and faster.
The Freedom Party leader is calling for an immediate and full lockdown.