Too early to compare Omicron variant to the flu: Van Dissel
Although studies have shown that the Omicron variant is milder than the Delta variant, chair of the Outbreak Management Team Jaap van Dissel said in an interview with NOS that it is too early to compare the coronavirus to the flu. "It is too soon to call it the flu," Van Dissel said. "There is no guarantee that will be the case with the next variant," Van Dissel said.
Coronavirus infection numbers have been at a record high in recent weeks. On Friday, the RIVM reported an additional 57,549 positive tests, yet at the same time, the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients overall fell to 1,108. "We think that the Omicron infections have less of an impact on hospital than was the case with the Delta variant," van Dissel said.
RIVM chief modeler Jacco Wallinga pointed out the uncertainties surrounding the Omicron variant. "Sometimes, we suspect the characteristics to differentiate from the Delta variant, but we can't count on it. For example, the chance to end up in the ICU we still count as being the same as for the Delta variant."
Van Dissel said that medical experts have been considering changing current quarantine regulations. "You can, for example, think of expanding rules that will soon apply to several crucial jobs, such as a daily self-test and a PCR test on day five. Then you, however, accept a little more risk."
Van Dissel said the OMT is still conducting calculations to see if restrictions can be lifted for the cultural and hospitality sector. On Tuesday evening, the Cabinet will hold a press conference to update the coronavirus policy.