RIVM: delta variant dominant in the Netherlands for the autumn

Supervisors and shoppers in the Kalverstraat.Image ANP

RIVM announced this on Tuesday afternoon. According to the most recent samples in the test line, about one in ten corona infections is now caused by the delta variant. ‘There are now several clusters (transmitted infections, ed.) in the Netherlands, in different settings and age groups,’ according to the RIVM.

It seems that the variant has mainly benefited from young people who have returned from Spain and Portugal, including many high school graduates. RIVM has previously announced that it has identified at least 300 holidaymakers with corona. ‘A large part’ of the new infections is due to the delta variant, the RIVM now reports.

“The most important message is: we are going into the autumn with a variant that is even more contagious,” says virologist Chantal Reusken (RIVM). “We still have the season ahead of us. But if that is no longer the case, we will be a little further behind.’

Up to 50 percent more contagious

The delta variant, previously the ‘Indian variant’, first appeared in our country in April. The variant has minor changes to its spines, making it easier to enter human cells and thus more contagious. According to the latest figures, the delta coronavirus is about 30 to 50 percent more contagious than the former British ‘alpha variant’ that currently dominates our country. That in turn was already about 30 percent more contagious than previous virus types.

Experts do not think that the new variant will lead to more hospital admissions, although there is still a chance that the variant is more sickening. However, there are indications that vaccines and earlier natural defenses are less able to fend him off. All in all, cause for concern, because the variant will slightly boost the ‘R-number’ of the virus.

Long-term complaints

This can lead to problems, especially in the autumn, when the respiratory virus season starts again. Not so much in the form of full ICs or dying vulnerable people, but in the form of many ‘ordinary’ sick people, who in some cases can have long-term complaints from corona. The RIVM therefore once again calls on people to vaccinate, to keep their distance, and to stay at home in case of complaints and have them tested. ‘Even on vacation and if you’ve been vaccinated.’

The Netherlands is not the only country that has problems with the delta variant. In Portugal and the United Kingdom, almost all infections are now of the delta type. In Belgium, Germany and Italy, among others, the virus is displacing the previous viruses at an exponential rate.

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