Government and UK media push to claim that children are not at significant risk in school blown apart by reality – except it’s not getting a mention
Barely a week after the French government relaxed its coronavirus lockdown and sent one in three French children went back to school, the country has seen at least seventy new coronavirus cases linked to schools.
French Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer admitted that the decision to re-open schools has put children at risk of infection and told French radio that the affected schools were to be closed again. He did not say how many of those infected were children, teachers or other staff.
At least seven schools in the north of the country saw outbreaks.
A recent study of a pre-lockdown outbreak in a French school found that on average 40% of pupils and staff were infected within a few weeks after just one infected person attended:
In addition, more than ten percent of pupils’ family members caught the virus from their child/sibling during the outbreak at the school in the Oise region. Leading German virologist Christian Drosten said that the result of a study of the outbreak showed that schools should not re-open.
Since schools re-opened in France, class sizes have been limited to fifteen – the same maximum that the UK government’s guidelines specify.
France also saw the first death of one of its children – a 9-year-old boy in Marseille – from the ‘Kawasaki syndrome’-like toxic shock now recognised as a complication of coronavirus in some child victims. The UK has now seen more than one hundred cases in just the two weeks since the syndrome was identified for the first time – around twenty times more than would be expected from the number of known child cases in this country. France has seen 125 cases.
The news of the new school outbreaks in France should kill any pretence that schools in the UK can safely re-open. However, the UK media appears to be steadfastly ignoring it. Instead, they are using stories from countries with very low infection rates to claim that there is little risk – and focusing on attempts to discredit unions and doctors who say it is unsafe to send children back to school.
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