Four more Covid-19 deaths reported; Questions over kids with snotty noses
The deaths of four more people were linked to respiratory illness Covid-19, public health agency RIVM said on Wednesday. One of the four passed away on Tuesday, with the others dying in the preceding two days. It raised the total number of deaths in the Netherlands to 6,074.
Some 11,836 have required hospitalization as a result of the coronavirus disease, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. That includes four new hospital patient admissions tied to a positive test result. The patients entered into hospitals between May 21 and June 9, the agency said.
Another 119 people also tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of known infections up to 49,204. A total of 496,130 tests have been completed as of Wednesday morning.
New runny nose policy for young children
Meanwhile, the RIVM on Wednesday published new guidelines about how schools and child care centers should handle children with a runny nose. The advice now states that children up to and including age six should be allowed access to their education and daycare facilities with a runny nose.
The young children should must remain home if they have a fever. They should also stay home if they have a runny nose and have either been in contact with someone who has an active SARS-CoV-2 infection, or who has symptoms of Covid-19.
However, many children were still sent away anyway on Monday morning, said Gjalt Jellesma of parent organization BOinK. The new policy from the RIVM has not been communicated fully on the health agency's website, with childcare staff saying they would prefer to take a more cautious approach until the contradictory information is cleared up.
Up until the change, the government advised the facilities when they reopened that children with any cold or flu symptom must either remain home or be sent home by the caregiver. "Young children often and repeatedly have colds and are thus forbidden because colds can be a symptom of COVID-19. In young children, a snotty nose is often caused by one of many cold viruses," the RIVM conceded on Wednesday.
In changing its policy, the RIVM cited statistics that only about 0.5 percent of children at or below six years of age test positive for the coronavirus. No policy changes were announced for children older than six.