Van Dissel calls fourth wave 'unlikely'; warns we are not out of danger zone
Slowly but surely, the Netherlands seems to be coming out of the coronavirus crisis. Infections numbers, as well as, hospital and ICU admissions are steadily declining. Additionally, more and more people are on their way to receiving a vaccine against Covid-19. Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, and Health Minister, Hugo de Jonge, announced on Friday that further restrictions will be loosened on June 5.
President of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), Jaap van Dissel, said to NRC that a fourth coronavirus wave is unlikely “but we should not think that the danger has completely passed”. “There is still a large group of people that have not yet been vaccinated and who are still at risk of getting infected”, Van Dissel warned.
Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Control of the RIVM, Jacco Wallinga, echoed Van Dissel’s caution about rejoicing too soon. “I can imagine that people will feel less inclined to adhere to the coronavirus measures which could have as a consequence delaying the relaxation of further restrictions”, Wallinga said.
Wallinga has stated he does not believe that strict measures will be needed in the upcoming winter season. “It does not look like we will need strict measures next winter it at the moment but we cannot sit back and relax.”
Similar to last year, the Netherlands eased restrictions as the summer nears. Last year coronavirus infection numbers shot up soon after. Van Dissel said, “The situation is really different now. Back then, everyone was still prone to infection. Now we see a decrease due to the increasing immunity which is largely due to vaccinations.”
Van Dissel does not expect the onset of a fourth wave. The OMT director said it would be a “milestone” if the majority of the population were to be vaccinated by early July. “This reduces vulnerability and makes a fourth wave unlikely."
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge has stated that it is unlikely that the majority of adults will have access to a Covid-19 vaccine as was anticipated earlier due to delivery delays of the Janssen vaccine. The health minister stated that many adults will have to wait until mid-July to receive their first jab.