No guarantee hospital total stays low with more youth coronavirus cases: RIVM
It should not be assumed that hospital admissions will remain low just because the majority of people currently falling ill with Covid-19 are young, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Control at the RIVM, Jaap van Dissel and head RIVM modeler, Jacco Wallinga, said in an interview with NOS.
The easing of restrictions on June 26 coincided with the advance of the more contagious delta coronavirus variant in the Netherlands. “There has been an increase in infections since June 30 and that is not surprising”, Wallinga said. “Contact tracing shows the effect of the reopening the catering industry and parties.”
Partygoers were able to enter clubs with a negative coronavirus test no older than 40 hours or proof of vaccination. The government reinstated certain coronavirus measures on Friday, forcing nightclubs to close their doors again. Negative coronavirus tests will now only be declared valid for 24 hours when used to enter events after Tuesday, as the OMT first recommended in June. The Cabinet initially used a 40-hour window instead, but changed course with a new package of coronavirus restrictions announced on Friday.
“We had advised that the access test be valid for 24 hours”, Van Dissel said. “In closed spaces with many people together and were a number of infected people nevertheless passed the Testing for Access system you see a strong spread.”
Coronavirus infection numbers have particularly been increasing among 15- to 24-year-olds. “It is certainly not the case that young people do not run any risk”, Van Dissel reminded. “They can sometimes also become seriously ill. There is no guarantee that hospital admissions will no increase among this age group soon.”
The RIVM leader pointed to the United Kingdom where hospital admissions were up 70 percent this week compared to the week prior. “You are now seeing hospital admissions there with a certain delay.”
Wallinga did not exclude the possibility of 900 Covid-19 patients in the ICU again this winter. “That is not to say that it will happen, but it is possible. Suppose the immunity we built up is weaker than we thought and at the same time, the infectiousness of the Delta variant is higher, in the winter a significant epidemic with high ICU admissions is possible.”