Lockown won't stop Omicron wave, health service says
The current lockdown will slow down a new wave of coronavirus infections and hospital admissions, but won't prevent it, public health institute RIVM said. The cause is the rapid advance of the more contagious Omicron variant, RIVM epidemiologist Susan van den Hof said to the RIVM.
This past weekend, Omicron accounted for 10 to 15 percent of infections. The RIVM expects this to increase by half by the end of this week and that Omicron will be the dominant variant before the end of the year.
"We expect that the combination of booster shots and current measures can greatly dampen the effect of Omicron," Van der Hof said to the broadcaster. "The extent to which that works depends on the pathogenic capacity of this variant. If that turns out to be not too bad, the peak in hospitals will be slightly less high. If not, then that peak will be really high."
"The booster seems to be of great help in boosting the decreased protection against Omicron," Van der Hof said. It should reduce the number of infections.
The expectation is that all over 18-year-olds who want one can get a booster shot by the end of January. Based on this, the RIVM calculates that the number of positive tests, which currently shows a steady decline, will increase again around New Year's. Seven to ten days later, this will translate into an increase in hospital admissions. The RIVM is concerned about this, as hospital occupancy has been high for some time now, and there is therefore little buffer to deal with a new wave.