No wave of infections after the Inkom

No wave of infections after the Inkom

Expected: new clusters of infections in Maastricht

01-09-2021 · News

MAASTRICHT. The Inkom has not led to an avalanche of new COVID-19 infections. That was the conclusion by the GGD Zuid-Limburg, (Area Health Authority) based on the results of the number of students reporting in with health issues. 

In order to keep a close eye on matters, the GGD appealed to first-year students to have themselves tested five days after the Inkom. Of the three thousand newcomers, about fifty took heed of that appeal. “That is not a lot,” says Christian Hoebe, Maastricht professor of Infectious Diseases and a member of the OMT (Outbreak Management Team). “Many students use the free self-tests and only come to the GGD when they test positive. But if you combine the fifty first-year students with those who came to the testing area of their own accord, we can still form an image.”

The GGD registered fifteen UM students with COVID-19 in the past two weeks. “That is very few,” says Hoebe. “You could suggest that the precautionary measures taken during the Inkom worked.”

Now that the university is starting up again, he expects that there will be focuses of infection or clusters in Maastricht. “It could happen in student associations, but also as a result of house parties. The number of infections is highest in the 19–25-year age group. In the South of Limburg, the GGD sees ninety positive cases each week.”

Still, Hoebe is completely behind the opening of higher education. “I feel it is tremendously important, seeing the backlog in education and the mental health complaints. I’m not worried about a new boom in infections. Of all lecturers, 85 per cent have been vaccinated and of the youths, 60 per cent have had their first jab. Moreover, you see the most antibodies in youths, because a large portion of them have already had the infection.”