OMT-member Koopmans cautions increase in Covid-19 patients still possible
Member of the Outbreak Management Team Marion Koopmans warned in an interview with the AD that we should not look to countries with the lowest coronavirus infection numbers when planning Covid policy. The medical expert said that hospital occupancy numbers for Covid-19 patients could quickly rise as the more infectious Omicron variant spreads.
"The problem is the high infectiousness. Delta would have already been dying out with these restrictions, but Omicron changed the rules of the game," Koopmans said.
Studies so far have shown that Omicron makes people less sick than its predecessor, Delta, "but people can still get seriously ill. We seriously need to take into account a sharp rise in admissions," the OMT member said. She expected the wave to peak at the end of January or the beginning of February.
Comparing the coronavirus situation to other countries such as Denmark, France, England and the United States has proved difficult for the OMT. In most countries, ICU occupancy has been decreasing, but in France, the number of Covid-19 patients in the ICU has increased. "Infection numbers have been rising everywhere, but hospital admissions and ICU occupancy differ. It makes a difference in which age group the virus circulates, if that group has already been infected, criteria for hospital admission and how far along the country is with the booster campaign," Koopmans said.
The OMT member said that deciding further measures is a "complicated puzzle" that the new Cabinet must solve.
The Cabinet will present an update on the coronavirus policy during a press conference on Tuesday evening.