In the short term, we can still make a little space to relax. This says Marion Copmans, a member of OMT. Given the high infection rates, we are likely at the start of a third wave, according to the virologist.
The image we see now reminds Copmans of what we saw after the summer of last year, before the start of the second wave. “You can now see the increase a little bit more among young people and children, who are now undergoing a lot more checks. What we fear will shift into those older groups. We are already seeing increases in other age groups.”
The South African alternative
The admission number is not so bad now. According to Koopmans, these chances are likely to also increase in the near future, if the infection spreads from the young to the elderly. The last set ends up in the hospital more often.
According to Kupmans, the continued increase in the number of infections also depends on two other factors that are difficult to predict.
“It depends on how many people are still sticking to the procedure,” says Copmans. “We will also see another increase in the circulation of variants. We are now dealing with the British and South African alternative. The latter is not spreading much, but it appears to be less sensitive to vaccination.”
Unlike what happened at the start of the second wave, we are now dealing with a group of elderly people who have been vaccinated.
Copmans: “It’s actually kind of a race against time. On the one hand, you hear everyone is ready to relax. But if you look at the number of people who haven’t been vaccinated, it’s still too early.”
According to Copmans, the speed of vaccinations is extremely important. “When it comes together, we’ll see that there is room for relaxation.”
Kaag wants to get rid of the curfew
Minister Sigrid Kaag (D66) today called for the curfew to be lifted and higher education opened as soon as possible.
Outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte said last week that easing would arrive on March 31, but only if the numbers develop positively. The outgoing minister Fred Graberhouse said today that we must “be very careful” when it comes to any relaxation.