Withheld testing preventing confirmation of many outbreaks, yet numbers rocket anyway
The number of schools known to have been hit by coronavirus outbreaks since they re-opened this month (in England and Wales) or 2-3 weeks earlier (in Scotland and Northern Ireland) continues to soar and has now reached at least 1,251* – up from 1,118 just yesterday.
But the real figure is far higher, as more and more schools are being told to isolate individuals or small groups but otherwise to carry on as normal and not to declare an outbreak or isolate whole ‘bubbles’ or year groups. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) estimates that four out of five schools have children isolating with suspected coronavirus – that’s around 26,000 schools with confirmed or likely infections.
The official number of new UK coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours was over 4,300, up by almost a thousand on the preceding days – but the continuing withholding of testing, particularly from children, means that the real number is several times higher. While the government has been reporting around the 3,000 figure per day before today, the Office for National Statistics estimates a number around triple that – even before today’s surge in infections.
The Tories’ testing fiasco, with even those who are offered a test being told to travel hundreds of miles when tests are available round the corner, is serving to hide the real scale of the latest catastrophe inflicted on the country by Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and co – with the active cooperation of the current centrist Labour front bench.
*Compiled from NHS updates, school bulletins and local news reports by @ToryFibs.
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