The government has stressed how important it is that we follow the coronavirus measures properly. Some figures are starting to improve, but others are still too high. The data from the Coronavirus Dashboard provide more insight into the situation.
1. Compliance with measures is falling
Every 3 weeks the Coronavirus Dashboard team conducts a survey to find out whether people in the Netherlands support the measures and are following them. The figure below shows that, for 7 of the 11 basic rules, compliance has fallen significantly. The risk this creates is that the number of infections can rise even if restrictions are eased only slightly. Our behaviour is the most important factor in tackling the virus.
2. The infection rate is still high, partly due to the highly infectious variants first identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil
Despite the lockdown, the daily number of positive tests remains high. The reproduction number (R) has risen to around 1 again and is expected to rise further in the weeks ahead. This is because the more infectious ‘UK variant’ and ‘South African variant’ are now more widely spread than the original virus.
- The number of infectious people on 1 March was 93,409.
- R was 0.98 on 22 February.
- R for the ‘UK variant’ was 1.06 on 22 February.
3. Lots of people are still being admitted to hospital with COVID-19, including to ICUs
The number of hospital admissions remains high. This shows that people are not only being infected with coronavirus, but are often also experiencing severe symptoms. This is partly because the ‘UK variant’ can make people more seriously ill than the original virus. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) expects the number of ICU admissions to rise further in the period ahead.
4. Vaccination rollout seems to be having an effect
This can be seen from the number of infections among nursing home residents. Nursing homes started vaccinating residents on 18 January and the effect can now be seen in the data. While the number of positive tests among the population as a whole is not falling, the number of infections among nursing home residents has fallen sharply.
5. More and more people are being vaccinated
The current expectation is that everyone aged 18 and older who wants to be vaccinated will have received at least their first injection by July and that 8 million people in the Netherlands will also have had their second injection by early July.
The effect of the vaccination rollout is expected become more and more apparent over the course of the spring. But, at the moment, the infection rate and hospitalisation rate are still too high and will probably rise further before they begin to fall. So it is important that we continue to follow the rules.