The head of the public health organisation is worried about a possible spike in cases in the near future
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Though the number of new daily Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands has fallen to a steady rate, the national health institute the RIVM is worried about the amount of residual Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands, reports the Dagblad van het Noorden.
“The circulation of the virus has stabilised, and is remaining considerable, and that’s a point of worry”, says Director Jaap van Dissel.
With the autumn and winter months fast approaching, it is possible that the virus will again spread, says Van Dissel, “the seasonal effect on the r-number is between 10 and 15 percent, and that will work against us”, he says.
The Dutch government is currently slated to remove further Coronavirus regulations on September 22, though Van Dissel doesn’t think that the policy will have to change: “in the coming weeks there will be further group immunity built up, especially because people will hopefully continue to get vaccinated. That helps keep the virus under control.”
One of the biggest risk factors is people that are not yet fully vaccinated, says Van Dissel, highlighting that about three quarters of people who are in hospital and suffering from the Coronavirus are only partially vaccinated, or indeed unvaccinated.
RIVM modelling suggests that in the coming months and years another 16,000 to 22,000 people will need hospital care for the Coronavirus, of which between 2,220 and 3,400 will end up in intensive care. According to Van Dissel, the vast majority of these people will have been unvaccinated. However, says the RIVM Head, statisticians and modelers aren’t certain if these numbers will come in the near, mid- or long-term future.
An important way for the public to help, says Van Dissel, is to self-test and then self-isolate if it is positive- people can also go to a GGD test centre for a second test result to confirm.