B117 strain could result in 5,000 Covid hospitalizations in May
If the more contagious B117 strain of the coronavirus spreads quickly in the Netherlands, Dutch hospitals will be treating about 5 thousand Covid-19 patients at the beginning of May, according to calculations Jaap van Dissel of public health institute RIVM sent to parliament on Wednesday. That is twice as many coronavirus patients as are currently hospitalized, ANP reports.
At the beginning of January, Dutch hospitals were treating 2,800 coronavirus patients. That has now fallen to around 2,400. In the coming weeks, the RIVM expects that number will drop further to less than 2 thousand hospitalized Covid-19 patients at the end of February.
In March, the number of hospitalizations will pick up again as the B117 strain becomes the dominant coronavirus in the Netherlands, the RIVM expects. More than 3 thousand beds will be occupied at the start of April, increasing to 4 thousand in mid-April and then to 5 thousand by early May. By around mid-May the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations is expected to start decreasing again.
The RIVM calculations were based on the situation as it currently stands, with the current lockdown measures. It did not take account of the effects of vaccinations or stricter measures being implemented.