Scientists have cautioned against the reopening of schools after new findings suggested children could be as infectious as adults.
The study, from the team of leading German virologist Christian Drosten, found that even though children tend to have far milder symptoms, those infected appear to have the same levels of circulating virus in their body as adults. This suggests schools and nurseries could act as hubs of Covid-19 transmission if current restrictions were lifted.
“We have to caution against an unlimited reopening of schools and kindergartens in the present situation, with a widely susceptible population and the necessity to keep transmission rates low,” Drosten and colleagues concluded. “Children may be as infectious as adults.”
The UK government has said that these five tests have to be met before they will consider easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions:
- The NHS has sufficient capacity to provide critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK
- A sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths from Coronavirus
- Reliable data to show that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board
- Operational challenges including testing and personal protective equipement (PPE) are in hand with supply able to meet future demand
- Confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS