Saturday 31 October 2020

Positive tests rise again, and more health boards cut back on contact tracing

Coronavirus test centre at Amsterdam RAI. Credit:

A total of 2,552 new positive coronavirus tests were registered with the public health board RIVM in the 24 hours to Thursday morning, the fourth day in a row that new infections have increased.

The infection rate has risen to 13.6 per 100,000, well into the government’s red zone and in theory a trigger for tougher measures. The ‘reproduction’ figure is 1.33, meaning each coronavirus patient person will infect 1.33 other people on average. This too is a red zone figure.

A further 16 people have died, the highest death toll since the end of May, and 25 more people were admitted to hospital. Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague again accounted for the bulk of the new infections.

Experts are suggesting that national measures will be needed to get the coronavirus outbreak under control again, now that eight more areas are about to be placed in in the ‘worrying’ category.

The total number of positive tests in the Netherlands has topped 15,000 in the past week.

Nearly all 25 health boards have now switched to a more limited form of contact tracing – meaning only people considered at risk are phoned by officials trying to trace the source of infections and warn others.

Instead each patient is being asked to phone other contacts and urge them to quarantine for 10 days.

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