Only when measures are lifted on June 1 will such a wave almost certainly not happen again. This is evidenced by the new accounts of the pandemic, which RIVM scientist Jaap Van Dessel presented this morning to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Sport.
With the summer wave of the virus, the number of Corona patients in intensive care could still rise to more than three thousand in mid-June. That’s five times what it is now, and more than twice what integrated circuits can handle.
Otherwise, it will be operational with a shutdown that will last until June 1. By that time, people over the age of 60 are also expected to have been vaccinated. Then the new disease wave will almost completely disappear, according to the RIVM model. A harbinger of this can already be seen in hospitals, where the proportion of people over the age of 80 has nearly halved in recent weeks as a result of the vaccination campaign.
Van Dessel emphasized that the coming summer wave is only a rough scenario. “Of course, you won’t wait to scale back measures until there are no more risks at all,” said the head of OMT.
But the numbers show that this removal should be done with caution: the abandonment is done very quickly, and even in early summer, new problems lie. The number of interstitial cystitis patients will not fall below 500 again until the end of July.
The most optimistic signs are now coming from nursing homes. And while the number of injuries has recently increased again in all age groups, the number of injuries in nursing homes has decreased dramatically: from about two thousand injuries per 100,000 inhabitants in January to less than two hundred injuries now. This means that the number of infections is now much less than would be expected without vaccination.
Meanwhile, more and more people in their 40s, 50s and 60s are hospitalized. “We think the situation is bleak now,” says Van Dessel. “We’d rather put the wave forward so that more vaccines could save us.” Van Dissel did not want to anticipate the additional measures that would still be possible if the number of patients increased unexpectedly too quickly.
The country is currently heading into a third wave, with between 500 and 3,000 patients in the intensive care unit during the month of April. The reason is that the more contagious “ British variant ” of the virus has increased the number of Rs in our country. Almost all injuries occurring in our country are of the “British” type. At the beginning of March, the R number, despite all measures, was at 1.11: one hundred people igniting another 111.
Van Dissel has strong reservations about the rapid tests, which many see as one of the important ways out of the crisis. Tests can be helpful. The RIVM man emphasized that the test itself is not a measure of control. “In general, they don’t solve everything.”
The problem in particular is the large number of false negatives, as the test often incorrectly declares someone to be virus-free. “If you leave it up after that, you will of course have a higher chance of transmitting the virus again,” Van Dessel says. “So it is important not to ignore a mere 1.5 meter distance even after you have taken a negative test.”
Another problem is that the rapid tests only give a quick glance. In order to control the virus, people had to test themselves several times a week, as was previously discovered Research conducted by, among others, Utrecht UMC We must assume that everyone will indeed go into isolation after a positive test.
International figures show that the Netherlands falls within a leading European group of countries where the epidemic is spreading, with France, Italy, Belgium and Sweden. Van Dessel indicated that measures have been tightened in Italy and France.
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