The more contagious delta variant of the coronavirus has spread further in our country, evidenced by RIVM‘s so-called germ surveillance. This closely tracks the spread of virus variants.
For the time being, the advance of the more contagious variant does not lead to an increase in hospital admissions. RIVM also does not expect a new wave of contamination; if it comes, especially autumn is a risk.
In the most recent week for which the results of that sample were known two weeks ago, 17 percent of the infections came from the delta variant. That’s almost doubling compared to the week before, when 9 percent of the infections were caused by the delta variant. A week earlier, it was only 4 percent.
RIVM expects that even half of the infections are already due to the delta variant. It is more contagious and grips around it faster, displacing fewer contagious variants. “That‘s roughly in line with expectations,” RIVM says.
Hospital Occupancy Continues to Fall
Meanwhile, hospital occupancy is still falling. There are now 248 people with corona in the hospital (yesterday: 278), 108 of whom are in the IC (yesterday: 119), reports the National Patient Spread Coordination Centre (LCPS).
Incidentally, a previous RIVM estimate showed that half of the infections would be due to the delta variant in mid-July, but this expectation had an uncertainty margin.
The share of the alpha variant (previously known as British variant), which in turn displaced previous coronavariants, has been reduced to 76 percent. Prior to that, the share of infestations by the alpha variant was 88 percent.
delta variant is also developing in other countries. Some countries therefore choose to tighten the corona ruins again. For example, Israel obliges face masks in interior spaces again and relaxations in Britain have been postponed. In the Netherlands, just relaxations started last Saturday.
Even against the delta variant, people are still well protected when they have two punctures behind them, research shows. At the same time, the number of hospital admissions is rising again in the UK, although the numbers are much lower than before the start of the vaccination campaign.
There were 287 patients on respiration this week, compared to about 4000 mid-January. In May, that occupation was 50 percent lower.
Meanwhile, the months of decline in contamination rates, which was deployed at the end of April, has come to a halt. 962 positive tests have been reported today. Over the past week, an average of 659 infections per day were recorded, barely less than a week earlier, when it averaged 670 infections per day.
Lockdowns as much local as possible
On the advancing delta variant, Minister De Jonge says that the cabinet remains vigilant. He emphasizes that vaccination remains the main asset to reverse the coronavirus. The Cabinet is working out different scenarios for autumn. “What’s really possible is that the upturn we‘ll see in the fall leads to a serious number of hospital admissions.”
According to the demissionary health minister, a lockdown is possible, but he would prefer to do it as locally as possible, for example after an outbreak in a discotheque.
Not scared, but vigilant
De Jong stresses again that “we’re not there yet” and that the one and a half meter rule remains for the time being.
Minister Van Ark uses similar words: “I think scared is a wrong word. But I am vigilant. Of course we can enjoy a good summer, but we also look ahead, because we want to avoid a situation like before the summer. We can all do fun things, but with common sense. The meter and a half is there for nothing.”