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Where Greece had one of the least Covid cases per million citizens at the beginning of july, the number of cases is rocketing since the end of July/beginning of August. From the 5,623 cases, “1,438 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 2,705 are related to an already known case. Greece recorded 203 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours, the single largest daily number of cases since the pandemic began.” (Greek City Times, 10th August).

Covid cases Greece

Initially, Greece had a large success fighting the coronavirus by an early lockdown in March. Since half June, some lockdown measures have been lifted. The daily cases have steeply increased. ““We must say that the increase in cases is mainly due to the relaxation of compliance to the measures within our country in July. And I believe we all have a responsibility for it. Only 10% of cases are imported, most cases at the moment are domestic,” he (Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis) continued.” (Greek City Times) “Authorities sealed a popular beach bar on Mykonos island after seven employees tested positive for the virus, Skai tv reported, while officials on Ikaria island intervened in a village celebration with dozens of people.” (Anadoulu Agency). Further, the Covid probably spread from travel to and from Balkan countries, which have a high number of cases.

Travel, tests and measures

Out of the 124 cases Saturday, 29 cases where noticed at one of the country’s entrance gates. Because Covid cases were low at the time, Greece began to consider how Greece could be re-opened in May. That meant lifting the non-travel and quarantine regulations. Instead, persons entering Greece are tested on Covid.

Since August 1, the Police have fined 2,042 persons for violating the Covid regulations, 57 shops were shut. “Parties at Chersonissos: ‘We’ve been drinking and cramming on each other every night’” headlines the AD, a newspaper in the Netherlands.

Some measures have already been taken: on Thursday, restrictive measures were imposed on the island of Poros in the Saronic Gulf. At Amplelonas (in Central Greece) measures were taken following the infections on a wedding. These measures included the suspension of events, religious processions and open markets. (Neokosmos)

Last Friday, Nikos Hardalias (Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management) announced the following measures:

  • As of August 12, visitors coming from Malta are required to show proof of a Covid-19 negative molecular test (PCR) taken up to 72 hours prior to arriving in Greece.
  • Following a relevant recommendation of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, all processions are suspended indefinitely, as are all rural trade fairs.
  • The measure of banning standing customers in all nightclubs, bars, restaurants and live music venues, currently in effect, is extended until August 31

Earlier that week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed the importance of the ‘national vaccine’: “which is nothing more than our ‘philotimo’ and together we must follow the measures indicated by the experts and I am sure that if we do we will emerge victorious from this difficult battle as well.”

Find out how the Covid Buzzer can help social distancing

While in the Netherlands and some other countries Covid-19 is increasing because people don’t follow regulations like social distancing and wearing a mask properly, Covid-19 has set a worldwide ‘record’ today.

WHO reports 284,196 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours (July 24). This is a record for the highest increase of corona infections in 1 day. The largest increases were in the US, Brazil, India and South Africa. The previous ‘record’ was one week ago, at July 18.

There were 9,753 deaths, the highest number since April 30. The average number of deaths per day is also increasing: in July 5,000 persons; in June 4,600.

Social distancing, wearing a mask properly and solutions like a covid buzzer help to fight Covid. Find out how we can help you: the Covid Buzzer

#Covid19awareness #Covid19 #Covid-19 #CovidBuzzer #stayhealthy #socialdistancing

Second wave of Covid with hot spots? Or the continuing of the first wave?

At this moment, there’s an increase of Covid-19 infections in the Netherlands. Where the R was below 1, it’s now 1,29. No wonder, it’s busier in the streets, the social distancing easily ignored. Out of Covid-19 tiredness, or simply because the infection rate was going down. So, now it’s 1.29 and there’s a little panic. Because: we don’t want the lockdown again. First there where 6 hot spots, now almost hundred. “Do the corona-hot spots have to be in a local lockdown? Yes, says a vast majority of the Dutch”.

A dense, heavily interconnected population: 1 huge hot spot

It seems we like to explain complicated matters with 1 single number. As if with ‘100’, there is something we can work on, something to contain. That could have been true, when the Netherlands would have been made of quite isolated places. Let’s say a little bush or moor here and there, bring on the fire department and extinguish every fire. Alas, with the dense and in normal circumstances -in the normalized circumstances right now-heavily interconnected population, the ‘100’ bush fires are more like 1 huge dried out bush, where already 100 little fires are going on. Dried out, because like many other countries, many Dutch show they are weary of the Corona regulations. Gathering in large groups are getting common, social distancing ignored. People are wearing their mouth cap under the chin, or put them under the chin while phoning.

Most infections occur at home, according to RIVM. This means that family members infect each other. In recent weeks, contact research has increasingly shown that people also spread the virus at work, during appointments with friends, at parties or in cafés. (Scientias, in Dutch).

Second Corona wave, or still the first one?

Trouw, a Dutch Newspaper: “Infection rates are rising sharply. Is the Netherlands at the beginning of a second corona wave?” Yes, in the Netherlands we have reached an infection rate of 0.6 at its lowest point. Now it is 1.29. So, do we have to be afraid of a second wave? No, we’re still in the middle of the first one. Of course, as a population who has been in lockdown and until now quite successful, we want to have something as reward. Unfortunately, the first corona wave has never been extinguished. Contained by the lockdown, yes. But remained among the population, and probably will not go away anyway until there is a vaccine.

Social Distancing remains important. Solutions like good marking, mouth caps and Covid buzzer help. Find out more about our: Covid Buzzer

A few days ago, the New York Times headlined ” 239 Experts With One Big Claim: The Coronavirus Is Airborne”. At least in the Netherlands, some people are focusing on these aerosols as more are less the only source of infection. According to them, Social distancing would have no use. Should we stop with washing hands, route marking and solutions like the covid buzzer? What does Morawska really say in her article?

Now, Morawska c.s. have publiced their article. In this, she focusses on aerosols as a third way of possible/probable Covid 19 infections, besides direct contact and large droplets:

“Inhaling small airborne droplets is probable as a third route of infection, in addition to more widely recognized transmission via larger respiratory droplets and direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces.”

“Inhaling small airborne droplets is probable as a third route of infection, in addition to more widely recognized transmission via larger respiratory droplets and direct contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces. … We believe that the use of engineering controls in public buildings, including hospitals, shops, offices, schools, kindergartens, libraries, restaurants, cruise ships, elevators, conference rooms or public transport, in parallel with effective application of other controls (including isolation and quarantine, social distancing and hand hygiene), would be an additional important measure globally to reduce the likelihood of transmission and thereby protect healthcare workers, patients and the general public.”

Read the full article

In other words: they mention aerosols as a possible / likely distributor of Covid 19, so not as the only explanation. They also mention the widely accepted distributions due to the large droplets and direct contact.

Social distancing remains important, solutions such as washing hands, good marking and covid buzzer help.

Covid-19-keep-corona-distance

Read More about Covid Buzzer:

Many offices have been closed or working on less power due to Covid-19. Now many offices want to open again. Last months, most employers have worked at home. There are employers who want to stay working at home, but most miss the energy of working at the office and the efficiency of a direct contact. And the latest gossip is juicier, the bad jokes funnier with an in-real-life cup of coffee together. How to re-open your office safely? Find out how the Covid Buzzer, a social distance badge, helps!

Creating a safe desk

But first, let’s take a look which measures offices take for re-opening. Most of their solutions consist of creating a safe desk. The policy that employees no longer have their own workplace are being drawn back. The limit of social distance (in the Netherlands 1.5 meter) is guaranteed by creating safe distances between desks. And sometimes, a transparent screen is placed between desks.

Creating a safe social distance in the building

So, there are many solutions possible for creating a Covid-19 safe desk. But… employers spend a lot of time by walking through the building. Going to desk. But also, to meetings, company restaurants, toilets and yes, the coffee machine. It’s there when people cross each other. And from the art of their function, facility managers are walking through the building all the time: such as receptionists, cleaners, security, maintenance workers.

Some offices are using tape for walking routes. But soon, after it’s there for some hour’s employers don’t notice the tape anymore. Especially when you’re busy and your mind is on the coming meeting.

Covid Buzzer: alarm goes off at 1.5-meter proximity

How to attend your employers they’re less than 1.5-meter proximity? This simple solution to keep a safe distance between each other. Everyone in the office, factory or elsewhere where many people gather, wears a badge. As soon as the badge meets another badge within a radius of 1.5 meters, a warning signal follows. The badge is completely anonymous, there are no privacy issues involved.

Covid Buzzer

Read More or order now: https://covidbuzzer.com/

The last months, due to Covid-19 factories, offices and institutions have been closed or been working on less power. Now, factories and offices want to open again. In the meantime, it is clear that Covid-19 will be with us for a long time. Employers want a safe as possible environment for their employees and visitors, as well as healthcare institutions and tourist and cultural providers. In addition, companies have a legal obligation to ensure a safe environment. And to take measures where necessary, so that the social distance is respected.

The Social Distance Badge is the device with which the 1.5-meter distance can be maintained. Simple, safe and without privacy issues

Work and recreation in times of Corona

For whom, what, why?

  • Factories
  • Construction and installation sites
  • Logistics: ports, warehouses
  • Transport (train, airports, busses)
  • Offices and Facility management
  • Healthcare
  • Touristic, sports and cultural sites and events

Factories

Factories and offices want to open again. Where offices can still choose by letting employees work from home, factories do not have this luxury. At assembly lines, many people are working together, concentrated to carry out their work. Then the 1.5 meter social distance may be ignored.

Construction and installations, logistics and transport

Employees are also unable to work from home during construction and installations. Many employees work side by side and close together. The employee will often need his focus to perform his work accurately and pay attention to other forms of safety, for example to prevent him from slipping or falling down. Employees can then forget to maintain the 1.5 meter social distance. The Social Distance badge helps to remind the employee to keep distance.

Offices and facility management

In the last months, many employees of offices have worked at home. But for social bonding and the well-being of employees, it’s important that employees are regularly present in the office. And not every office has the option to offer working from home.

Employees walk from workplace to company restaurant and meeting and back again. And meanwhile, facility managers walk through the entire building. Then it is important to keep the 1.5-meter distance, since 1 employee can spread the Corona-19 virus in the entire building.

Healthcare

For some groups, Covid-19 is particularly dangerous: the elderly and people who already have a condition. It is important for them that social distance is maintained. By clients, staff and visitors. In addition, some residents must be reminded to keep 1.5 meters.

Tourist, Cultural, Recreational, Sports sites and events

Visitors get mixed up, are enthusiastic and forget to keep their distance. Or are there visitors who do not take the 1.5 meter into account and thus pose a risk. With the Social Distance Badge, you can safely open again.


Guaranteed 1,5 meters distance

All employees (and customers or visitors) receive the SD badge upon entrance. This is worn around the wrist or neck. The SD Badge continuously scans its environment for other badges via a so-called Ultra Wide Band signal. This signal provides the most accurate distance measurement. As soon as 2 (or more) badges are less than 1.5 meters apart, they give a warning sound and/ or light signal. This allows everyone to keep enough distance. As soon as there are another safe 1.5 meters, the signal will stop.

Read more and order now: https://covidbuzzer.com

Continuing with our Analytics team study of the virus on Western European countries, we present our findings for data up to week 15 (14 April).

As discussed in our previous articles, in order to provide an objective comparison per country, the algorithmic results need to be standardised around the population of each country in order to produce a more accurate deaths per million inhabitants rate. The figure shown below summarises the results.

As seen, Belgium’s mortality rate (red) is significantly higher than any of its neighbours. Germany (blue) and the Netherlands (green) have the lowest mortality rates, and appear to be levelling off. This suggests that the Dutch and German governments testing, health care systems and social distancing strategies appear to be paying off.

It’s not completely clear why Belgium’s mortality rate is so much higher than its neighbours, but a possible explanation may be due to insufficient testing and the virus hitting various elderly care homes. We’ll follow Belgium’s progress over the coming weeks, and report our findings.

The UK

As discussed in a previous article, the UK had a one-week head start on its neighbours. Therefore, shifting the UK data left by six days, we obtain an interesting picture of the UK’s situation:

Applying a prediction model to the UK data (dashed magenta line), notice how the UK’s data follows France’s data. Although long term predication models should be viewed with a degree of scepticism (as there are too many unknown factors to consider), the prediction suggests that the UK’s mortality rate should follow France’s mortality rate.  

The good news for the UK population, is that the emergency measures in place, appear to be working and are leading to a decline in deaths!

The Covid-19 virus has forced European governments to order millions to lockdown in the hope of limiting the spread of the virus, based on ‘expert scientific advice’.  The latest recent review of WHO data by Dutch data modelling specialist, Advanced Solutions Nederland (ASN) reveals that the UK could of adverted strain on services and avoided a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases by taking advantage of being six days behind the infection spread in Northern  Europe, but failed to put measures in place in time, due to flawed ‘expert’ predictions.

Central to government policies imposed are predictions being made from statistics that are essentially handling raw data ineffectively. Many models are based on raw measured values that are not adjusted for comparison with neighbouring countries, so called population standardisation, which can give a false perspective of the situation at hand.

– Director of Algorithms and Analytics, ASN, Dr. Sanjeev Sarpal

Ineffective use of modelling to predict virus trend

John Hopkins University (JHU) provide an open database of confirmed cases, deaths and number of recoveries, obtained from data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), various other health intuitions and governments. These datasets are broken down into countries and regions.

Analysis considered data obtained from the following five European countries populations: Germany (83 million), France (67 million) UK (66 million), the Netherlands (17 million), Belgium (11 million).

Our analysts found that by analysing the viral trend by doing a ‘like with like’ comparison of populations rather than the conventional method of non-standardisation, resulted in a totally contradicting set of results, implying that the UK governments response was not informed appropriately.

In order to provide an objective comparison per country, the algorithmics results were standardised around the population of each country in order to produce a more accurate deaths per million inhabitants rate. The figure shown below summarises the results.

Analysing the chart, it can be seen that all central countries considered herein all report first cases within days of each other, and have very similar contamination rate. The UK is the exception, as it is approximately 6 days behind mainland Europe.

By shifting the UK left by six days, we see that the UK also follows the same trend as its continental neighbours. The dashed line represents the algorithmic prediction of the number of confirmed cases for the next two days (short term prediction), which closely follows the other countries.

Thus, it can be concluded that despite the British government having advanced warning, they failed to adequately prepare themselves for the effects of the virus.

No magic long-term prediction model

There are a multitude of data modelling methods, each giving a different result depending on the interpretation required. For the Covid-19 virus, there is no ‘magic model’ that can be used to predict the long-term severity of the outbreak, as there are too many variables to consider, which are almost impossible to model and track as the pandemic unfolds.

External factors, such as emergency laws, increased public hygiene/diligence and better medical care facilities are but a few major factors that affect any long-term prediction model. These critical factors are generally not modelled when making a prediction model. The short-term prediction shown herein, was just for the next two days, but all prediction models must be viewed with a degree of scepticism, as it is not possible to model all of the unique circumstances that present themselves.  

ASN’s data analytics team will be closely monitoring the development of the Covid-19 virus, and providing regular updates via our blog.

The Netherlands is regarded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as one the richest countries in the world, with high life expectancy, good infrastructure and a liberal society.  The Dutch have historically been traders, learning multiple foreign languages and trading with the whole world – a practice that is still continued to this date. The Dutch love to travel, which may have been one of main factors for the Covid-19 virus gripping the Netherlands so severely.

The Covid-19 virus has led all European governments to effectively lockdown their countries in the hope of limiting the spread of the virus. Although some see this as a violation of their civil rights, the Dutch government’s ambition is to limit the spread of virus so that the health system can cope with a controlled flow of infections.

Population standardisation and carnival

New research from the University of Massachusetts, suggests that the median incubation period (i.e. the time between exposure to the virus and the appearance of the first symptoms) for Covid-19 is just over five days and that 97.5% of people who develop symptoms will do so within 11.5 days of infection.

John Hopkins University (JHU) provide an open database of confirmed cases, deaths and number of recoveries, obtained from data from the World health organisation (WHO), and various other health intuitions and governments. These datasets are broken down into countries and regions.

Applying our ANNA data modelling algorithms to the raw datasets provided by John Hopkins University (JHU), we were able to plot the mortality rate versus time for the Netherlands, as shown below.

Confirmed deaths for the Netherlands: source JHU database

Many models are based on raw measured values that are not adjusted for comparison with neighbouring countries, so called population standardisation, which can give a false perspective of the situation at hand.

The yearly Carnival festivals that takes place around the 23-Feb, attracts large crowds of people (shown on the right). This incubation period of approximately 12 days can be clearly seen in the data for the Netherlands, where the first deaths are reported around 7-March (14 days after carnival), suggesting that if not adequately treated in hospital, the patient will die within a few days.

Our analysis considered data obtained from the following five European countries (populations shown in parenthesis): Germany (83 million), the Netherlands (17 million), Belgium (11 million), UK (66 million) and France (67 million).

In order to provide an objective comparison per country, the algorithmic results were standardised around the population of each country in order to produce a deaths per million inhabitants rate. The figure shown below summarises the results.

Population standardisation trends: deaths per million inhabitants

Analysing the chart, it can be seen that when viewing the scaled dataset, the Netherlands (green) and France (black) have the highest mortality (death) rate, and Germany (blue) the lowest. France’s high mortality rate may be attributed to many foreigners visiting France for their winter holiday.

A disastrous combination of events

Analysing the various news reports, the Brabant province in the South of the Netherlands was a particular hotspot for the virus. Our findings as to the likely reasons why the contagion rate in Brabant is so high can be attributed to a combination of the following factors:

  • The yearly Carnival festivals taking place around the 23 February, which attract large crowds of people.
  • Frequent foreign travel of people working for large international business, such as Philips and ASML.
  • School holiday.
  • People taking their winter holidays in France and Italy.

Had carnival taken place several weeks earlier, the effects on the Dutch population may have very well been lower.

Another hotspot for the virus was Amsterdam, which like Brabant is a hub for international business, and a very densely populated region of the country.

Conclusions

The Covid-19 incubation period for the Netherlands is around 12 days.   

When standardising the mortality rate population data per million inhabitants with surrounding countries, the Netherlands and France have the highest mortality rate of all of their neighbouring countries. A likely explanation of the explosive outbreak in the Brabant province of the Netherlands, is due to Carnival festival, the school/winter holiday and international business travel. France’s high mortality rate may be attributed to many foreigners visiting France for their winter holiday.

Despite Germany’s large population of 83 million, the data shows that the German government’s handling of the situation has been very effective indeed. The German health system boasts over 25,000 intensive care beds, and respiration equipment. Comparing this this Netherlands, which just has a little over 1,150 beds, and adjusting for the population differences – Germany still has more than 4.5 times more intensive care beds at its desposal.

In terms of prevention: Germany’s National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, reports that it has capacity for approximately 12,000 Covid-19 tests per day, which surpasses all other European countries.