Sunday 17 January 2021

Random sampling shows up to 5% of Dutch Covid cases are ‘British’ variant

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Between 1% and 5% of people with coronavirus in the Netherlands may have the new variant of the virus first identified in Britain, new research has shown.

Given current infection rates are around 9,000 a day, this could mean hundreds of people every day are being infected with the British variant. Only 50 cases have been currently confirmed.

The figures come from extra research carried out on some 10,000 positive coronavirus tests in the Netherlands. ‘It is popping up in different places,’ virologist Marion Koopmans told the NRC. ‘Mostly at a very low rate, but that could increase rapidly.’

The current lockdown is helping control the spread but ‘we need to think very seriously about how quickly we plan to relax the rules,’ she said.

Koopmans is involved in the research on the cluster of cases at a primary school near Rotterdam, where all the teachers and pupils with the virus have the British strain.

The research into that outbreak is now being expanded.

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