Plastic shields in place, Dutch schools to reopen amid coronavirus

By Piroschka van de Wouw DEN BOSCH, Netherlands (Reuters) - At the Springplank school in the Dutch city of Den Bosch, staff have installed plastic shields around students' desks and disinfectant gel dispensers at the doorways as part of preparations to reopen amid the country's coronavirus outbreak. New infections in the Netherlands have been declining for weeks, and the government on Wednesday announced a schedule to relax some of its lockdown measures, with elementary schools to reopen on May 11

Reuters May 09, 2020 00:12:56 IST
Plastic shields in place, Dutch schools to reopen amid coronavirus

coronavirus " src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/05-2020/09/2020-05-08T174413Z_1_LYNXMPEG471LB_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-NETHERLANDS-SCHOOLS.jpg" alt="Plastic shields in place Dutch schools to reopen amid coronavirus " width="300" height="225" />

By Piroschka van de Wouw

DEN BOSCH, Netherlands (Reuters) - At the Springplank school in the Dutch city of Den Bosch, staff have installed plastic shields around students' desks and disinfectant gel dispensers at the doorways as part of preparations to reopen amid the country's coronavirus outbreak.

New infections in the Netherlands have been declining for weeks, and the government on Wednesday announced a schedule to relax some of its lockdown measures, with elementary schools to reopen on May 11.

"Our teachers are not worried," said Rascha van der Sluijs, the school's technical coordinator.

"We have flexible screens that we bought so we can protect our teachers if students are coughing."

Though schools have been closed since March 14, many including the Springplank have remained open with skeleton staff for a handful of students whose parents work in essential sectors such as healthcare. Most have been taking classes online.

Each district is setting its own policies for reopening, with many planning to accept students only on alternate days. At some schools, the teachers will wear medical masks.

As of Friday, there have been 42,093 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, with 5,359 deaths, according to data from the National Institute for Health. Of those, 1.3% of infections and one death were registered among people under 20 years old.

High schools are not due to open until June.

At the Springplank, younger students will use one entrance and older students a different one. Parents will have to drop their children at the gate.

"What we're worried about is the adults," Van der Sluijs said.

(Reporting by Piroschka van de Wouw; Writing by Toby Sterling; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.