Dutch primary school proves to be a breeding ground for the mutated COVID-19 strain

Minister of Health Hogo de Jonge has expressed concern about the spread of the more contagious British variant of COVID-19 among children. The cabinet is discussing with the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) whether primary schools should be testing more often, and when they should reopen.

The ministers are rethinking their approach to testing, after a coronavirus outbreak of 40 cases at a primary school in Bergschenhoek (South Holland), according to NOS. The GGD has said that it’s plausible that most of these cases are concerning the British strain of the virus.

According to Minister De Jonge, because the virus has spread so clearly at the school, there may be consequences regarding the Netherlands’ testing policy.

Previously, it had been assumed that primary school-aged children don’t play much of a role in spreading the virus. “The spread among primary school children was not a major source of contamination before, but this cluster is,” said De Jonge.

The cabinet met yesterday afternoon to discuss whether a more intensive testing policy is needed within schools.

Plan for reopening schools announced today

It has been the intention under the current lockdown that primary schools remain closed until January 18, although the Lower House has called on the cabinet to see about opening earlier.

According to De Jonge, the cabinet has met about the matter and plans to make an announcement later today. The general assumption is that infection rates are still too high to reopen sooner than planned.

Do you think the testing strategy in primary schools should be adjusted? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image: Arthur Krijgsman/Pexels 

Brin Andrews
Brin Andrewshttp://brinandrews.com
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.

1 COMMENT

  1. I find it ridiculous fear mongering, on the basis of 1 school suddenly punish all kids??
    Why today in uk they said no indication new variant spreads more in kids:??
    An analysis by Public Health England released this week showed there was no evidence it was more able to infect children than other variants.

    But that does not mean infection rates have not been rising among children.

    As with all age groups, the proportion of school children testing positive increased during December – with more virus around there was more transmission.

    “Primary school children however still remain one of the age groups with the lowest infection rates.”

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