Van Dissel: Preventing 41,000 hospitalizations by lockdown

Due to the lockdown set in mid-December, an estimated 41,000 hospitalizations and 6300 IC admissions were prevented. That‘s what Jaap van Dissel of the RIVM said at the briefing of Dutch MPs about the coronavirus.

However ,

the director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Control of RIVM stressed that this is a gross indication, covering the period from mid-December to mid-February. During that period 14,676 people were hospitalized and just over 2500 IC admissions were recorded.

According to Van Dissel, it is certain that curfew has contributed to this, but the precise effect is difficult to determine. Also, according to the RIVM foreman, the result of the curfew cannot be separated from the visitor restriction, which was introduced at the same time. The advice is to receive one visitor no more than once a day.

But not everyone adheres to the measures, says Van Dissel:

Van Dissel insists that the curfew and the visit advice resulted in a 10% lower reproduction rate, which shows how the virus spreads. If we stop the measure, the R number will increase dramatically, says Van Dissel.

More infestations by easing

According to Van Dissel, the eases announced yesterday by the Cabinet, such as the partial reopening of secondary schools, will in any event lead to an increase in the number of infections and hospitalizations.

The British corona variant plays an important role in this, says the infectiologist. He reiterated that the classical variant is less common and that the British variant is gaining ground. It is certain that this variant is significantly more contagious, but how much is still unknown.

Studies show varying percentages. The German Robert Koch Institute believes that the British variant is at least 37% more contagious and in Denmark it is assumed to be 50% to 74 percent. The RIVM in the Netherlands maintains a greater contagiousness of 28 to 47 percent.

Effect vaccinations can be seen in the oldest age group

Today, even in most age groups, there is an increase in the number of infections, says Van Dissel. Only among the oldest age groups, aged 85 and over, is a decline. It’s probably the effect of vaccinations.

Of the 90s over at home, 57 percent have had the first shot so far, said Jaap van Delden in the briefing. He is responsible for the corona vaccinations on behalf of the RIVM. When all scheduled appointments for those over 90 people living at home have been completed, 70 percent of that group have received a first dose.

Van Delden also said that from the beginning of March it will also be possible to make an appointment for a coronaprik via the internet. Now this can only be done by phone.

Wash hands

As in previous briefings, his colleague Van Dissel stressed that the basic rules are of great importance in controlling the virus. This involves washing hands, keeping distance and staying at home in case of complaints.

This also has a positive effect on other viruses. We did not see the flu virus and the RS virus again this year, said Van Dissel. Also, certain types of meningitis are observed less often.