OMT: Can’t rule out possibility of fourth coronavirus wave this winter
In spite of the progress being made with the Netherlands’ coronavirus vaccination programme, the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) has said that it is too early to rule out the possibility of a fourth wave of coronavirus this winter, as the R-number could remain just below one.
The Netherlands' coronavirus cases could rise again this winter
As outlined in the team’s most recent advice to the Dutch government, an optimistic situation would see 75 percent of the population of the Netherlands vaccinated against COVID-19 before the winter. But even if this happens, the R-number would stay just below one or could even rise above one, which could lead to another wave.
The OMT also states that it’s possible that the level of protection that the various coronavirus vaccines offer could diminish with time, and so those who received the jab at the start of this year might not be properly protected come the winter. Furthermore, new highly contagious and dangerous variants could emerge in the future.
OMT says certain coronavirus measures must remain in place
The current situation in the Netherlands sees the number of coronavirus patients being treated in Dutch hospitals fall every day, and over the past month the number of new coronavirus cases reported each week has more than halved.
Looking to the future, as temperatures rise and more and more people are vaccinated, the situation is likely to improve, but the OMT highlights the fact that the pandemic isn’t over, and that certain coronavirus measures will have to remain in place.
“In addition to the current vaccination programme,” the OMT write in their latest advice, “(Additional) basic measures will continue to be necessary.” The experts also emphasise that longer-term projections are uncertain, and voice their concerns about rushing into the next stage of relaxations.