Netherlands among Western Europe's biggest Covid hot spots
Compared to other countries in Western Europe, the Netherlands, Belgium and France are in bad shape in terms of coronavirus spread. Their infection figures are much higher than surrounding countries that quickly implemented stricter measures when infections started rising again, RTL Nieuws journalist Jasper Bunskoek concluded after comparing the coronavirus figures of 950 regions in 11 countries.
The 40 regions in the Netherlands did not score well. "An average region currently has about 15 new positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants per week. All Dutch regions are above that. Amsterdam and The Hague are even among the top 10 most infectious regions in Western Europe," Bunskoek said to RTL. Amsterdam currently counts 194 positive tests per 100,000 residents per week.
Belgium and France are also in bad shape. Paris currently leads the ranking with 231 positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants per week. Brussels is also in the top 10 with 190 positive tests. The first German region on the ranking is in 72nd place - the city of Hamm has 96 positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
According to the broadcaster, the reason behind countries like Germany and Ireland's lower infection figures likely lies in the fact that these countries intervened with harsh measures the moment infections started rising. Germany, for example, obliges its regions to take immediate action if infections top 50 positive tests per 100,000 inhabitants per week.
For this study, Bunskoek used Covid-19 data from the health authorities in 950 regions of 11 countries. These are the so-called NUTS-3 regions, used by the European Union to compare statistics. The data used is from Friday afternoon, September 25.