Over the past couple of weeks, the RIVM has been running different mathematical models to predict the spread and impact of the coronavirus in the Netherlands.
The RIVM expected to see the effects of the measures by this week, however, the numbers are less positive than initially thought. The most positive model made last week will not come to fruition, according to Jacco Wallinga, chief modeller for the RIVM.
What do the current models predict?
Initially, the models predicted there would 1000 ICU patients by the beginning of April, but that number has already been reached. The new models predict 2500 patients in intensive care by mid-April.
The issue now is ensuring hospital systems can cope with the number of patients. As of now, there’s only 1100 total intensive care beds in the Netherlands. Therefore, if the projection of 2500 patients is reached, the Dutch healthcare system will simply be overwhelmed.
The increase of numbers of projected patients is because the RIVM is now assuming that, on average, a patient will stay in intensive care for 23 days, rather than the earlier projected model which assumed 10 days.
Some good news
According to the RIVM, the flattening of the curve has started to happen. This number is primarily based on hospital admissions, but with this statistic, some time needs to pass before the figure is also visible in daily infection rates.
Essentially, now the odds of someone infecting other people is under one. Before the 16th of March, the rate was two. According to Wallinga, the growth rate has slowed down, but it’s still higher than initially anticipated. That means that the rate people are infecting each other is now less — therefore the curve is becoming less steep than without containment measures in place.
In Noord-Brabant, the rate of hospital admissions has slowed down over the last couple of days, and it is possible that the peak has already been reached there, especially given that measures were implemented there before the rest of the country.
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