CIE0458

Written evidence submitted by Mr Mark Nash

Older Children As Likely As Adults To Transmit SARS Cov-2 – Grave Risk of Community Transmission

Large scale research in South Korea shows that older children are as likely to transmit the SARS CoV-2 virus as adults:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/18/health/coronavirus-children-schools.html?campaign_id=154&emc=edit_cb_20200720&instance_id=20474&nl=coronavirus-briefing&regi_id=126573473&segment_id=33908&te=1&user_id=c46f08d45243798ad4907159fd3d49f7

This adds further concern as to the safety of the government's guidance on opening schools to all students from September 2020.  Secondary students and staff will be in full classrooms with no physical distancing and no masks, and mix in year group bubbles of 240 students.  This would be illegal outside of schools.

Teachers will also move between year groups as part of their teaching day.

Transmission among students, staff and their wider families, including vulnerable relatives who are advised to no longer shield, seems certain unless the guidance is amended.

Steps should also be taken to minimise the number of different children each child sits next to during a school day.  Early on in a hospital, a patient was moved between 5 different beds in the same ward in four days only to be found to be positive for Covid-19.  Let’s not repeat the tragic mistakes made in hospitals and care homes in schools.

Furthermore, individual risk assessments of school staff may be based on the initial need to shield or not during lockdown rather than have been updated to be based on age, gender, comorbidities, and ethnicity.

Let’s avoid unnecessary risks and avoid further loss of life and debilitating illness requiring rehabilitation over a significant period of time.

 

Mark Nash

22 July 2020

July 2020