The Netherlands aims to keep its schools open, even as cases soar among young people.


The coronavirus’s fast unfold by schools within the Netherlands has prompted some consultants to name for extending this winter’s Christmas break. In an article on Thursday, one immunologist, Ger Rijkers, advised the newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, “Children are little virus factories and infect each other as well as adults.”

The authorities has launched different restrictions to strive to quash the widening outbreak and resisted urgings to shut schools. Lawmakers just lately restored masks mandates in some public indoor locations and instituted a three-week partial lockdown that features earlier closing hours for eating places, bars and retailers.

For the previous week ending on Tuesday, the Netherlands reported a file variety of cases, with constructive checks rising 44 p.c. The nation is struggling to meet its screening targets amid the hovering demand.

The largest enhance within the variety of new infections was among kids ages 4 to 12, in accordance to authorities information. The training minister, Arie Slob, acknowledged that the scenario “asks a lot of teachers and parents.”

“I understand there are concerns,” Mr. Slob wrote on Twitter, “but I’m convinced that schools are open responsibly.” He mentioned that the Outbreak Management Team, a bunch of consultants advising the federal government, agreed.

“Most teachers are vaccinated and students usually do not get very sick,” Mr. Slob added.

According to a union for college leaders within the Netherlands, the standard of training has suffered throughout the pandemic. And whereas it’s unclear precisely what number of lessons are being despatched house, nearly 9,000 staff in elementary schools and after-school facilities examined constructive for the virus final week, in accordance to the union’s web site.

The authorities hopes to keep schools open to assist cut back the disruption that college students have suffered. A authorities report launched final month confirmed that college students of all ages had fallen behind and that many had been struggling mentally.

“It’s very important that schools remain open,” Mr. Slob wrote.