New Covid cases near 40,000, one in four primary school classes sent home
Just under 40,000 new coronavirus cases were reported to public health institute RIVM in the 24 hours to Friday morning.
In total, the RIVM registered 39,978 new cases, a rise of over 1,700 on Thursday and the highest figure yet. The increase takes the average over the past week to 36,527, or 17% up on the week earlier period.
The number of people being treated in hospital for coronavirus continues to decline, falling overnight by 25 patients to 1,124. Of them 290 are in an intensive care ward. In total 133 patients were admitted to an ordinary ward in the 24 hours to Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, RIVM chief Jaap van Dissel has told MPs he thinks people who are admitted to hospital for treatment for something else, but then prove to have coronavirus, should be registered separately.
At the moment, around 5% of people admitted to hospital turn out to have coronavirus, but Van Dissel said he would not be surprised if the real total was double that. People who are in hospital for a gall bladder operation but are discovered to have coronavirus, are currently included in the daily hospital figures.
Van Dissel also told MPs that earlier RIVM forecasts about the likely number of hospital admissions because of the Omicron variant were ‘on the pessimistic side’. The institute said earlier it expected hospital admissions would be down by 40% but that now seems to be too high, Van Dissel said.
According to a survey by head teachers association AVL, around 23% of primary school pupils are currently at home because of the current rules, compared with just one in 11 a week ago.
The current rule requires classes to be sent home if more than three children test positive for the virus within a seven day period.
AVL chairwoman Ingrid Doornbos told broadcaster NOS that the current situation is detrimental to the quality of education because schools are taking so much time with organisational issues.
On Friday, the government’s Outbreak Management Team is due to meet to discuss changing the quarantine rules again.
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