March 25, 2023

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Why did OMT insist on a stricter lockdown

Why did OMT insist on a stricter lockdown

According to OMT, the situation at the moment is worrying. According to Van Dissel, we’ve seen waves of infections in the past two years. The delta variable was another reason for this. “There are still tens of thousands of casualties every day. It seems that the peak has passed us, not least because of the measures that have been taken. But hospital occupations are still very high.”

Omicron’s share is increasing rapidly

The same applies to pressure in GP care and nursing homes. “The numbers are going down, but we’re not there yet,” Van Dessel noted. And now there’s suddenly an omicron variable. “This is only a small part of the infections in the Netherlands. But the share will increase rapidly due to the very rapid spread.”

Between Christmas and the beginning of the year, the omikron variant will also be prevalent in the Netherlands, as Van Dissel predicts:

But there are also a lot of unknown factors, he said. The most important question in light of the new Corona measures: How sick are you? This is still not clear. In the words of Van Dissel: β€œIt may take some time before we have solid data on this.”

big setback

A person’s immune system through vaccination or previous infection with the Coronavirus can be circumvented with the new alternative. So there is less protection against omikron. According to Van Dissel, the fact that the mutation “deviates so much” from the virus for which the various vaccines were developed is a “major setback”.

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It has now been shown that booster vaccination helps. “So it is very good in and of itself that it was already decided last week to speed up this vaccination campaign with great force.” Before January 7, all people over the age of 18 must be able to schedule an additional shooting.

How many people will get a booster injection? How fast will the virus continue to spread? Because of all the uncertainty, the “models” that RIVM uses in the numbers and statistics that the new boom has produced in the meantime are heavily based on assumptions, said Van Dissel, who is also head of RIVM’s infectious disease control division in addition to OMT. President.

“If the numbers are moderate, that’s fine. But if it’s less optimistic and if you assume that oomicron can make people sick in the same way, we see that the number of patients we will get is so high that it is very high in the first wave in the Netherlands it can exceed” .

Space and air for care

In any case, a stricter closure could “create more space and give more air” to healthcare, which is “still under a lot of pressure,” Van Dessel said. Tightening the measures “could slow the spread of the omicron, so we can be more prepared and everyone can use the booster vaccination.”

And he wanted to admit “this can also happen sometimes”. “But we haven’t seen that much with the coronavirus.”