February 4, 2023

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Omikron variants soon became dominant, fear of the summer wave

Omikron variants soon became dominant, fear of the summer wave

It appears that the omikron variants BA.4 and BA.5 are rapidly becoming the dominant variants of the coronavirus in the Netherlands. This is evidenced by the latest figures from the Amsterdam Regional Center for Genomic Epidemiology and Outbreak Surveillance (ARGOS), a partnership between UMC and GGD Amsterdam. The survey is based on a sample of positive corona tests taken by GGD.

A week ago, the BA.4 and BA.5 variants were still responsible for 27 percent of corona infections. Now it’s already about 54 percent of cases, which is double within a week. Never before has the battle between these variants and the BA.2-omikron variant, prevalent in the Netherlands, gone so quickly in favor of the newcomers.

More infections

According to Matthijs Welkers, a medical microbiologist at Amsterdam UMC and one of the researchers at ARGOS, this development is likely to lead to an increase in coronavirus cases in the Netherlands in the coming period. “We’ve seen abroad that as these variants of Omicron dominate, more people have contracted the virus.”

In Portugal, according to data from the US Johns Hopkins University, a Modest aura wave continuous Because of the same variables.

RIVM measurements in Dutch wastewater also show that the number of virus particles is increasing. However, RIVM believes it is too early to conclude that a corona wave is imminent in the summer.

The start of summer golf?

“It’s really only a matter of time to look at ground coffee,” Wilkers says. “At the same time, these developments could be the start of a summer wave. To me, it’s a combination of factors: you see the shift in which the BA.4/BA.5 variants are becoming dominant more quickly; we’re seeing an increase in wastewater, we’re seeing an increase in The number of reports of injuries. Take that together and my conclusion is that the number of injuries will continue to increase.”

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The question is what social consequences a possible corona wave could cause. “It’s variations on the omikron and we know it’s less disruptive compared to previous variants like Delta. So it’s likely that hospitals won’t be filled with new corona patients.”

“But people do catch a cold, and it will spread. At work, that can lead to more interruptions and cause problems for many businesses in terms of occupation.”


Welkers points out that the holiday period is just around the corner, which means fewer employees are available anyway. “Then the increase in infection could be the proverbial straw that will make everything more difficult.”

I still find it hard to say, “We have to prepare.” But it is clear that something will happen, so the Netherlands will have to think about which scenarios are realistic and what we should do next.”

In response, Minister Kuipers said the number of infections is increasing slightly and the number of people becoming so ill that they need hospital assistance is also increasing. “But at the moment it is not a concern. As always, we will continue to monitor it. And RIVM is doing that too.”