Great concerns at OMT about British variant, ‘taking measures now’

The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) is deeply concerned about the spread of British coronamutation in the Netherlands. This is evident from the most recent opinion, the first volume of which has been published today.

According to the experts, it is important now to take measures to curb the spread of the virus, including the new variants. The measures envisaged by the OMT are not mentioned in this document.

According to the experts, it is necessary to take these measures โ€œuntil we can expect a beneficial seasonal effect on the spread, and an effect of group immunity through infections and through vaccinationโ€. Previously, the experts called a curfew as a way to regain the feeling that it is important to avoid contact with others.

Reproduction number British variant above 1

According to members of the OMT, it appears that the reproduction rate of the old coronavirus was just below the value of 1 at the beginning of this year, which means that the epidemic is slowly but surely extinguishing. But the reproduction rate of the British coronamutation is 30 percent higher and above 1, which makes that variant spread further.

โ€œ Looking at the value of the r-number for these two different variants, it can be concluded that we are dealing with two virus variants that seem to spread in the population at different speeds and de facto lead to two separate corona epidemics,โ€ writes OMT- President Jaap van Dissel to the Cabinet.

No predictions

The OMT estimates that, at the moment, around 10% of coronavirus infections are British corona mutation, but this could already be 50% in the course of next month. If that happens, the Outbreak Management Team warns that the current decline in infections, hospitalizations and IC admissions will stagnate and rise again in March. From April, this can lead to renewed heavy pressure on care.

โ€œ For this reason, no prediction can be made when the numbers of hospital and IC admissions have returned to the level appropriate to the risk level vigilant, writes Van Dissel.

At the moment, the risk level is very seriou throughout the Netherlands. In last weeks opinion, the OMT said to expect that the level could be reduced to โ€œvigilantโ€ at the end of February or early March.