The alpha variant last year force the United Kingdom into another lockdown however this year Prime Minister Boris Johnson had decided to deal with the omicron variant with minimum restrictions.
From Europe To USA, Covid Cases In Children Are Rising
Schools will continue to remain open because the negative effects of remote learning cannot be ignored. After the holiday break, the students have returned to school while the Covid 19 hospitalizations continue to increase.
This is worrying the teachers and parents all over again. On the first day of term, Students at Park Lane Academy were tested for Covid 19. The teacher’s union is still not satisfied with the government’s efforts in keeping the classroom safe and is demanding financial support for other methods to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The Department of Education did announce testing for schools in middle school twice a week but it did not include the elementary school students. 7000 air cleaning units are also promised for classrooms. It is also being suggested that classes can be combined to compensate for this shortage of teaching staff. Retired teachers may also be called for work.
However, a headteacher at an elementary school said that teaching does not seem to be the most important thing for the government because in-person teaching is making more and more teachers sick due to which they have to quarantine.
Classroom closures allowed schools to function last year but the same may not be sufficient this year as well with rising omicron cases. More and more children are being admitted to hospitals in the USA.
Although the government claims that the facilities that the schools have been provided with are sufficient to keep the omicron virus in check, some officials still want to delay the new term because some teacher’s unions are still claiming that the classrooms are just not safe.
Studies have shown that following masking and other precautions against coronavirus will keep classrooms much safer than the community with regards to catching the virus but the fast-spreading omicron variant may change this very soon very easily. It has been observed that children are less likely to catch Covid 19 compared to adults but that does not mean that they won’t fall severely sick or die.
Even they could develop severe life-threatening complications like multi-system inflammatory syndrome. Children may continue to have covid 19 symptoms for as long as 15 weeks after first catching the infection. Around 117 1000 children in the UK now have long Covid.
Omicron may be causing milder illness compared to the other variants but it is more prone to cause difficulties for young children as it mainly affects the upper respiratory pathway. Apart from this, considering the number of children being affected by this virus, it may be highly misleading to call the omicron variant a mild one. However, the majority of children who are getting infected are unvaccinated.
The experts still claim that classrooms would be safe if all the precautionary measures are followed properly. The World Health Organization has made masking and ventilation a standard for schools.
Europe is starting to vaccinate children between 5 to 11 years olds but the United Kingdom is only vaccinating clinically vulnerable children. This has angered some parents. This delay in vaccinating the children is being called a mistake that will put parents and school staff at risk.
More children are expected to fall sick due to covid 19 and they are expected to spread the infection further to the teachers and their parents. Compared to Japan and Norway, the British government has failed in keeping the classrooms safe.
Following the precautionary methods is supposed to keep the classroom safe as is the case in Germany but this bias may make the omicron situation even worse. It is being debated if keeping schools open is that important.