The so-called reproduction number of the coronavirus has increased further to 1.38, according to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). In the previous weekly corona report from the RIVM, the R-number was still 1.17, a week earlier at 1.
The reproduction rate is an important indicator of the speed at which the virus spreads in the population. It expresses how many others an infected person infects on average. Below 1 the spread dies out over time, above 1 it spreads faster. An “R” of 1.38 means that 100 people carrying the virus are expected to pass it on to 138 people, who in turn can pass it on to 188 others.
Because the most recent R-number is very uncertain, RIVM always looks back two weeks when calculating. So the ‘R’ that is now being reported is that of August 28. In addition, the institute maintains a margin: it can say with 95 percent certainty that the reproduction number is between 1.29 and 1.47. 1.38 is right in the middle of that bandwidth.