RIVM: ‘It’s really too early to call Corona a flu’

RIVM: New measures based on people's behavior

One injury record is being broken one by one while there are more and more indications that the omikron variant is milder. Are current quarantine rules still viable with gaps in healthcare and education? And why does RIVM still use old data in models?

The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) met yesterday to provide new advice on Corona to the Cabinet. Prior to the consultation, NOS spoke with OMT President Jaap van Dessel, Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Control (CIb) and chief designer Jacco Walinga, both of RIVM.

According to OMT, the number of infections could happen soon up to 100,000 Per day. If they all had an average of three contacts, 400,000 people would have to be in isolation or quarantine every day. What does this mean?

Gap van Diesel: “These kinds of numbers basically mean that there are a lot of infections circulating in the population. We think the Omicron infection will put a lot less pressure on hospitals than it was previously with Delta.”

Do I need to change the current isolation rules?

Van Dissel: “I think we are criticizing again lines We must look. You can, for example, consider a wider application of rules that will soon also apply to a number of critical professions: daily self-exam and PCR test on the fifth day. Then accept more risk.”

99 percent of people now have mild or no symptoms after infection with oomicron. Is the corona epidemic starting to look like a big flu wave?

Van Dissel: “It’s really too early to call Corona influenza. Influenza has a different clinical picture and the consequences are also different. You also don’t know yet what new variants will appear after omikron. The fact that the current variant seems to be less disgusting, but it does not guarantee That would also be the case with the next variant.”

With the current hospital numbers, is it still necessary to keep the food and culture industry closed?

Van Dissel: “This requires a broader computation and we’ll discuss that first at OMT. It’s true that if you give up on measures that increase the number of infections, the number of admissions can go up.”

The risk of developing serious diseases mainly in the elderly and the frail. What if all measures, except for 1.5 meters and mouth plugs, were released with the urgent advice that vulnerable people better protect themselves?

Van Dissel: “You can think of this, but first you have to calculate if it also works.”

OMT recommendations that advise on potential relaxation states depend largely on the scenarios computed by the Wallinga model. Thursday afternoon during a Technical Briefing In the House of Representatives repeatedly that until recently still used assumptions about the delta variable to estimate the expected number of IC exposures to the omikron variable.

Why actually?

Jacco Wallinga: “We still don’t know everything about an omikron variable. Sometimes we suspect a property is different from a delta variable, but we can’t compute it yet. For example, we still compute the chance of an IC accepting using the probability that applies to a delta variable.”

During the briefing, it was said that the chance of an IC being accepted into the RIVM form would “definitely” be adjusted. The probability goes from 1 in 5 to 1 in 10 or 15. What does this certainty depend on?

Van Dissel: “Based on studies from the UK, US and Denmark. But this immediately points to the problem, because a study from California points to favorable opportunities, but reports from New York say hospitals there are again under tremendous pressure. The picture is not even consistent. Now, but on average we think we’re committed to very high ratios now.”

When did RIVM actually receive information about a much lower chance of accepting an IC for the first time?

Walinga: “The first data came from the British Imperial College. It pertains to reports 49 and 50. There were also reports from the United States. But if you check them, you will see that there are nuances in them. Is now a chance for IC admission for all Omicron people or only for people Infected again?

The reports Wallinga refers to have been published 16 in a December 22 Posted. Thus, these reports indicated that the number of IC admissions could be reduced by half using an omikron.

So while RIVM has been thinking for some time that the number of IC admissions will be lower, was the old data still being used in the OMT consultation?

Walinga: “The way we approach it is by noting that all graphs have a story. That story has to say it’s about predictions, which might be overly optimistic or very pessimistic. It’s a way of communicating within OMT and I understand that it’s hard to understand. May A graph without this story is less appropriate for general information.”

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