Finland has seen a surge in quarantines in the first week since schools there re-opened, with more than 150 new cases among teachers and pupils – mirroring the situation in France, which has seen an increasing number of schools across the country re-closed because of new outbreaks, just a week after the re-opening. While the incubation time of the virus can vary widely, 5-7 days is around average.
Finland’s statistics show 154 new quarantines in the eight days to 22 March – and the rate of growth is accelerating:
This increase occurs against a backdrop of Finland’s population of only around 5.5 million, 6,500 cases and 306 deaths to date – not much more than one in a thousand of the population infected – so a new surge of 154 quarantines linked to schools is substantial. The UK, by contrast, has seen almost 40 times as many infections per head of population – even according to the government’s figures, which are low because of the long-term lack of available testing for the virus.
The apparent ability of the virus to re-emerge in schools even from a very low infection base signals yet again why the UK’s teaching unions are correct to say that the UK government is rushing too fast to send children back to school when the pool of infection in the UK is far larger.
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