RIVM director says coronavirus lockdown prevented 41.000 hospital admissions
Chairman of the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and member of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT), Jaap van Dissel, has said that the current coronavirus lockdown has prevented around 41.000 hospital admissions in the Netherlands.
Effect of coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands
Acting Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the national lockdown on December 14, closing, among other things, schools, shops, gyms, and cinemas. After over two months of lockdown and the addition of a 9pm to 4.30am curfew, Van Dissel has said the strict measures have had a significant impact on the spread of COVID-19 and the strain on the Dutch healthcare system.
According to him, approximately 41.000 hospital admissions have been prevented. This figure includes around 6.300 intensive care admissions. Since the lockdown, there have been over 2.500 intensive care admissions, but Van Dissels’ figures suggest that this number could have been over three times higher.
National curfew also helped to reduce r-number
Recently, demand on the Dutch government to ease some restrictions has grown, with many questioning the effectiveness of the measures. But Van Dissel is adamant that the harsh lockdown was necessary and prevented a “substantial” number of admissions.
However, he does also emphasise that the numbers he provides are “assumptions” based on RIVM models. The margin of error is therefore five percent. His figures are also supported by earlier models from the RIVM that calculated that the curfew and household visitor rules had reduced the r-number by around 10 percent.