SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The coronavirus variant identified in Britain is spreading across the Netherlands less fast than was feared, claims the AD.
On February 2, caretaker prime minister Mark Rutte said that it was thought the B117 variant represented ‘two thirds of infections in the Netherlands’, while the most recent trials by public health institute the RIVM suggest it has only now reached this level.
Stringent coronavirus containment measures, such as a limit of one guest at home per day and the evening curfew, were introduced after virologists warned that faster-spreading new variants could cause a third wave and potentially overwhelm hospitals.
While earlier modelling from the RIVM, produced on the basis of sampling, suggested that the ‘British variant’ represented 60% of the 3.6 million infections on February 5, the latest estimates from this week suggest that on February 12, it represented two-thirds of the total 3.4 million cases.
Chantal Reusken, a virologist at the RIVM, reportedly told the AD: ‘The most recent figures are still provisional, but it is true that this can’t really be called much of an increase.
We are currently investigating how this is possible.’ A spokesman for the RIVM said that although the latest figures are yet to be confirmed, it is increasing sampling and further researching the spread of the B117 variant.
‘The fact that the increase is less steep is something that we are investigating,’ he told DutchNews.