The Coronavirus outbreak is considerably less severe in the North than in the South of the Netherlands, such as in the Province of Brabant, says UMCG microbiologist
The Coronavirus outbreak in The Netherlands continues, but is expected that the peak of infections will be much flatter in The North, and that said peak is not expected in the next two weeks.
Medical microbiologist Alex Friedrich of the UMCG has spoken to RTV Noord in response to favourable figures in Groningen. Meanwhile, in Friesland, the GGD’s figures show a total of 247 confirmed cases (25 more than yesterday), with eight fewer people in hospital (a total of 73), and no further deaths. In Drenthe, the RIVM’s interactive map shows a very low general spread of the outbreak, though seven people have died (via the GGD Drenthe).
Most intensive care patients in UMCG in Groningen
There are presently 64 patients suffering from the Coronavirus in various intensive care units in hospitals in Groningen. “And there are actually very few northerners in our intensive care unit. Most come from other regions”, says Friedrich.
“We managed to slow down the spread of the virus. We have been able to delay it so much that no peak has yet arisen here. And that gives us a good chance of leveling it off”, he added.
Wait two weeks for trend
We cannot be sure of a trend until positive numbers stabilise for two weeks, says Friedrich. He is mainly looking at the regional reproduction figure: how many people each infected person then passes the virus on to. “That must be less than one to get the virus under control. And zero to completely stop the virus”, said Friedrich.
Nationally, this figure is now 1.4 on average; which, according to Friedrich, indicates that there is a slowing to the epidemic. In Groningen the figure has now fluctuated around 1 for a few days, but that varies from day to day. “At the moment, you have the lowest risk in the entire country in Groningen of becoming infected. But that is not the same as no risk.”