Between 17 and 23 January, an estimated 3250 people died. That is almost 150 fewer than expected. Mortality among residents of nursing homes and care for the disabled is also lower than was suspected (1150 to 1300).
The fact that fewer people die than expected has been the case since the last week of 2021, also among residents of nursing homes and care institutions for the disabled. Between the beginning of August and the end of December, there was still a continuous and significant excess mortality, in some weeks by several hundred higher than expected.
Virologist Ab Osterhaus is happy with the latest figures. “You can clearly see that we have fewer problems than this autumn, when it was more difficult because of the delta variant. That omicron variant is milder and at the same time, the booster vaccination will also have dampened the effect of infection in vulnerable groups.”
“You can clearly see that we have fewer problems than this autumn”
At the same time, slightly more people aged 65 to 80 years than expected died in week 3, about 1050 compared to 1000. Osterhaus: “It is always difficult to give precise explanations for this, but it is true that the younger the groups are hacke less they are vaccinated. Then it remains to be careful if the vaccination rate in that group is lower and at the same time there are still relatively many vulnerable people in such an age group.”
Virologist Bert Niesters is very positive. “It is opening in the right direction and the seriousness of omicron does indeed seem to be not too bad. Especially when you consider that some of the people in hospitals are not because of it, but because of corona. What also plays a role, however, is that unlike in previous years, we will not have an additional flu epidemic this year, which may partly explain the lower death rates.”
“If all goes well, most of the measures will be over by the end of February”
He expects that our country will be over the corona peak in about two weeks. “After that, the risk of social disruption due to staff loss should really decrease. At the end of February, if all goes well, most of the measures will be over. Then we may end up in an intermediate normal, in which the basic elements such as regular hand washing and ventilation remain important, but the sharpest edges are really gone.”