Three countries, three ways of counting?

24 April 2020

Comparing figures on corona infections and mortality can be misleading

The number of people dying in Belgium from the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is higher than in neighbouring countries. This high mortality rate makes it seem as if Belgium is not doing as well as its neighbours. The Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant even reported on 17 April that Belgium is the European leader in terms of the number of deaths. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, the statistics agency CBS reported that the actual number of deaths in a week is up to twice as high as officially reported. The figures from Germany are also surprising for many experts. To this day, it is a mystery why the mortality rates in Germany are so low. How is it possible that the differences between these three countries are so great? In order to find out, we need to take a closer look at the statistics and the way in which corona infections are reported.

corona, ITEM, law
Ruben Tans

Ruben works as a researcher at the knowledge institute ITEM. After graduating from UM with a bachelor's degree in European Law School, he also successfully completed the masters European Law School and Globalisation and Law.

During his studies he developed an interest in migration law and human rights law. He also participated in the European Human Rights Moot Court Competition, where the team reached the semifinals.

He also works at the GrensInfoPunt in Maastricht. There he provides information to frontier workers, a position that is closely related to his work for ITEM.