Cabinet overestimates how far we are with the Covid vaccination campaign: RIVM
On Friday, the Cabinet announced the 1.5-meter distance rule will be swept for the higher education on August 30, yet the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) wanted to wait with releasing social distancing for higher education until September 20.
Head of the Infectious Disease Control at the RIVM Jaap van Dissel told NOS that the reason why the OMT advised a later date is because the Cabinet overestimates the progress of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign. “The Cabinet looks at the moment from which people are able to make a Covid-19 vaccination appointment, we look at the moment at which these appointments were actually made”, Van Dissel said.
On September 20, the Cabinet plans to release the 1.5-meter rule entirely. The head of infectious disease control said that coronavirus infections could rise again in Fall when people return from holiday and more people get sick due to the cold weather.
Head of Epidemiology and of Surveillance of Infectious Diseases at the RIVM Susan van den Hof said a rise in cases from people returning from holiday is normal at this time of year. “It is logical that a growing number of people who test positive have been abroad.”
“Ultimately, the circulation of the virus already in the Netherlands and what is added by travelers determines the Fall”, Van Dissel said. The OMT advised the government to wait with loosening restrictions for travelers; an advice which the Cabinet did not heed.
“In this phase, we have the seasonal effect to our advantage which helps in the fight against the epidemic. In the Fall that disappears; everything that you do against the coronavirus is slightly less effective”, Van Dissel said.
Van den Hof remained optimistic that progress has been made in the fight against the coronavirus. “The R-value has increased a bit but was still below 1 on July 29. That means the epidemic has become smaller”, Van den Hof said. “We will just have to see what will happen after the holiday period.