RIVM speaks of the third wave: 19 percent more infections, but also much more tested

“Because the majority of the population has not yet been vaccinated, it is very important to prevent infections as much as possible and to keep this third wave as low as possible”, the RIVM writes today.

The number of positive tests was 25,229 last week. This week it was considerably higher. Last week, 263,291 people were tested, which is more tests compared to the winter week before when 190,153 people were tested.


The figures will appear just hours before the government is expected to announce various relaxation of the corona measures.

RIVM has established that the Netherlands is in ‘a vulnerable position’. “If the easing is too rapid, the number of infections, and with it the number of hospital admissions, will increase again,” the institute warns.

In the past week, 263,291 people were tested for the virus, no less than 38 percent more than a week previously. 9.8 percent of those people received a positive test result. A week earlier, 11.5 percent of all tests were positive.


Relatively speaking, the increase was greatest among children aged 0 to 12 years. “This may be related to the reopening of primary schools and day-care centers two weeks earlier, in combination with the stricter testing policy: even with minor complaints, these children must have themselves tested”, RIVM explains.

In absolute numbers, the youngest age group still has the lowest number of corona infections.

Spread virus

The so-called reproduction number, which indicates how quickly the virus spreads, is just below 1, just like last week. The RIVM has calculated that figure for the situation on 5 February. For the extra contagious British variant, which according to the institute is now the most common in the Netherlands, the number hardly shifted: from 1.15 to 1.14. This means that 100 people who contracted the virus light an average of 114 others.

The RIVM emphasizes that ‘many infections have been prevented’ by the combination of the curfew and the urgent advice to receive a maximum of one visitor at home per day. In total, according to calculations by the institute, this saves about 10 percent in infections.

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