Go to contents

Dutch PM could not visit dying mother due to COVID-19 restrictions

Dutch PM could not visit dying mother due to COVID-19 restrictions

Posted May. 27, 2020 07:41,   

Updated May. 27, 2020 07:41


Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was unable to visit his dying mother in her final weeks in order to adhere to the country’s lockdown rules. Rutte has drawn widespread praise for practicing noblesse oblige unlike the leaders of the U.K., Austria, the U.S. and Brazil, who faced public criticism for violating COVID-19 safety rules.

The prime minister’s mother Mieke Ruttee-Dilling was staying at a nursing home in The Hague before her health conditions deteriorated earlier this month, The Telegraph reported. The 96-year-old mother did not die of COVID-19.

Ruttee-Dilling passed away on May 13 but the prime minister had not seen his mother before she died to follow COVID-19 lockdown rules against visiting group facilities, including care homes. “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,” said the Dutch prime minister, adding he hopes to deal with the loss in peace. His office said the prime minister decided to obey the government restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. The Netherlands has eased some of the lockdown restrictions on group facilities and plans to completely lift them on June 15.

Rutte started his career as a politician in the Dutch conservative WD party when he was young. After becoming the party leader in 2006, Rutte became the first conservative prime minister from the WD in 92 years in the 2010 election.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com