AMSTERDAM, Nov. 18 (Reuters) – Virologists in the Netherlands have proposed extending holidays over Christmas to slow the wave of COVID-19 cases among children, forcing half of schools nationwide to send lessons home.
The National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) reported this week a record of more than 110,000 cases through November 16, an increase of 44% compared to the week before. The strongest increase occurred in children aged 4-12 years.
The number of infections among children of primary school age, aged five to nine, increased by almost 85% and increased by 76% among children aged 10-14.
“Keeping primary schools closed for longer is an effective way to keep the virus under control,” immunologist Ger Rijkers told Algemeen Dagblad . “Children are virus factories and infect both adults and each other.”
Not all experts say closing schools is the best option, but Marion Koopmans, a virologist and member of the country’s leading COVID-19 advisory board, told the paper that “we need to consider other measures” if rates don’t fall. .
All 12 Dutch provinces were expected to be dark red for the first time – the highest alert level – on a weekly chart published Thursday by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
With nearly 85% of adults fully vaccinated, more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases were recorded for two consecutive days this week, the highest number to date, leading to a shortage of COVID-19 testing in health centers. read more
The latest wave started after the government ended social distancing and other measures in September, a decision that has since been reversed.
The proposal by interim Prime Minister Mark Rutte to exclude non-vaccinated people from a pass for indoor events is met with resistance in the House of Representatives. read more
The Rutte cabinet has reintroduced the wearing of face masks in shops and has reintroduced a partial closure, bars and restaurants close after 8 p.m. The cabinet will discuss new measures on Friday. read more
Reporting by Anthony Deutsch and Bart Meijer
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.