SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Coronavirus cases rose rapidly among teenagers last week while declining in most other age groups, according to latest RIVM figures.
Some experts are calling for the Christmas school holiday to be extended to prevent cases flatlining again, after last week brought a marginal decline of around 2%. The total number of infections is still more than three times the government’s upper limit of seven cases per 100,000 people per day.
Patricia Bruijning, paediatrician and epidemiologist and a member of the government’s Outbreak Management Team, told Nieuwsuur: ‘We have already introduced a lot of measures outside schools.
If we want to bring the numbers down, I think we need to look at the schools too.’ In contrast to the initial outbreak in the spring, when schoolchildren were sent home in March and returned on a gradual basis after the May holiday, the cabinet has tried to keep schools open as far as possible during the second wave.
But latest figures show 13 to 17-year-olds now have the highest infection rate in the country, with 370 cases per 100,000 people in the week to November 24 – a higher figure than at the peak of the second wave in mid-October.
Infections rose last week among all five-year age brackets under 20 while declining in all but two of the remaining 16. The 15 to 19-year-old group now accounts for nearly 10% of total cases.