Research is being conducted in various ways to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus. This is necessary to protect us from COVID-19. We need to know where and how often the novel coronavirus occurs and what trends are observed. RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment systematically collects, analyses and interprets this data. We call this surveillance. This enables us to keep a close eye on how the novel coronavirus develops and to see if any changes occur. If necessary, we can advise the Cabinet to take timely measures and communicate them widely. Surveillance also provides data for research. Below you can see which investigations RIVM is conducting.

Modelling the spread of the virus

Using data from research in the Netherlands, RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment can estimate the course of the outbreak and calculate the effect of measures. Read more about modelling.


Infection Radar

Infectieradar aanmeldknop

RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment keeps abreast of the spread of infectious diseases in various different ways.  This also applies to the novel coronavirus. One of the ways is by observing people with symptoms that could indicate an infection.  This is done via an Infection Radar. Read more about Infectieradar (Dutch only).


Research within families and young people

RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment is carrying out research among families in the Netherlands where someone has contracted the novel coronavirus. We want to find out more about the course of the disease.  Read more about research on families and young people.


Herd immunity

RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment has launched a large-scale study on immunity to COVID-19. This multi-year study investigates how many people have antibodies for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more about herd immunity.


Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (Nivel) testing stations

Nivel is working with RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment on screening for people with flu-like symptoms. Working together, they are running tests at 40 General Practitioner (GP) practices to see how often these symptoms occur and which viruses are causing these symptoms. Read more about Nivel testing stations.


Applying Behavioural Science

Research on behaviour and health provides insights into how to help people to continue  following behavioural rules. Read more about behavioural science.


Public perception of the coronavirus

RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (Nivel) are jointly researching how people in the Netherlands perceive the corona crisis and how they are responding to it. Six repeated online surveys were sent out between 24 February and 17 May 2020 to nearly 3,000 people in the Netherlands. Read more about the public perception of the coronavirus.


Study on behavioural measures and well-being

To gain insight into how people view the imposed coronavirus measures in the Netherlands, their motivation in adhering to the measures, and what the impact is on their daily lives, RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment and GGD GHOR (the Netherlands Municipal Public Health Services and Medical Assistance in Accidents and Disasters) are conducting a large-scale study on this topic. Read more about the study on behavioural measures and well-being.


Sewage research

Genetic material from the novel coronavirus has been detected in sewage in the Netherlands. Read more about COVID-19 sewage research.


Research in the Netherlands

More research into COVID-19 is conducted in the Netherlands. An overview can be found on the FMS website.

Also, new research programmes on COVID-19 have been set up with the help of government grants. More information.