“Omicron to peak in hospitals by the end of the month”

Virologist Steven Van Gucht of science health institute Sciensano is forecasting a calm spring and peaceful summer after Belgium weathers the omicron storm, but Van Gucht warns that before we are out of the woods a number of difficult days lie ahead. 

“Omicron will reach its peak within a week or so.  Schools are open and people are back at work after the break.  This may stoke the virus.  We expect hospitalisations to peak at 400 patients a day at the end of the month”.

The virologist believes it’s too early to compare omicron to influenza.  Symptoms are milder but pressure on health care is tremendously high. The number of infections has nearly doubled in comparison with last week, while measures are still in place.

Van Gucht believes we are heading for calmer waters.

“Many people have had the booster. Many people have had delta or omicron or both.  Immunity is improving.  I am looking forward to a quieter spring and summer when relaxations will be possible”.

“It will not be a full relaxation and one that will need to be tightened up where necessary.  New variants will always emerge.  That shouldn’t surprise us and need not necessarily be a problem.  Omicron too will disappear in time”.

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