Friday, January 29, a generalized testing was asked of the children as well as the supervisory staff of a nursery and primary school in Arlon. This procedure follows the detection of a case from the South African variant after the announcement of several Covid cases in a primary class at Saint-Bernard school.
The children must remain in quarantine just like their family bubble, until the results of the tests carried out. Other schools in Arlon have been forced to close classes due to outbreaks of coronavirus contagion. But in this case, it is the confirmation of a case of the South African variant (known to be more contagious) which pushed school medicine to take more precautions by having around 450 people tested this Saturday.
This situation is quite exceptional in the province of Luxembourg as confirmed by the governor, Olivier Schmitz: “Several dozen classes are closed in the province but without entirely closing establishments, except in Arlon for the Saint-Bernard school“. The results of the generalized testing are expected tomorrow, Sunday afternoon,”so that the administration and the authorities decide whether or not to completely close the school or certain classes“, he explains.
Slots have been made available in the Vivalia network which has a hospital in Arlon in order to carry out this operation as quickly as possible before Monday and the theoretical return of the children to class.
A variant still not very present but which worries
Less present than the British variant, the South African variant worries about a higher transmissibility. As Simon Bellicour explained : “The South African variant appeared in a country where there is less genomic surveillance. Result, we have less data about it. Its rapid spread, however, also raises concerns about greater transmissibility, especially since this variant shares an important mutation with the variant which emerged on British soil.“
A first case was detected in our country two weeks ago in Flanders. Shortly after, around fifteen people infected with this variant were detected in Ostend.
For two weeks, several schools in Flanders as in Wallonia have had to close following outbreaks of coronavirus contaminations, as in Ans in the Liège region. Other schools in the Antwerp region, at Did Edegem and Kontich have to close and have massive testing following the presence of the British variant?.