Relaxing Covid measures too soon could be disastrous: Acute Care boss
If the coronavirus measures are relaxed too soon, the number of infections will spike - with the Delta variant and the still too low herd immunity, maybe to 10 thousand per day, Ernest Kuipers, head of the national acute care network LNAZ, said to Nieuwsuur.
"We take growth into account when there is more mobility: people go back to work, come back from vacation and schools open again," Kuipers said. "Then the number of infections will rise again." The cabinet must learn from the too-soon relaxation of measures in June, which resulted in a spike of new infections. "That was not convenient, and we are still dealing with that in the hospitals."
"To make a comparison: we now have about 200 people in the ICU. Last year at this time we had about 20 people in the ICU, a factor of ten lower. And even then in August, we gradually went up, but then you started low."
There is a high willingness to get vaccinated in the Netherlands, and that is great, Kuipers said. But the target immunity has not been reached yet. "We are now slowly creeping towards that 85 percent vaccination rate. But that means that you are still left with two million people who have not been vaccinated and who have not had the coronavirus."
More needs to be done to persuade people to get vaccinated, he said.
The cabinet will hold a press conference on Friday to announce what the coronavirus restrictions will look like in the coming period. Reports say that higher education will be allowed to open without social distancing, and that the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort will be allowed to happen as planned.