SCHOOL CLOSURES “MAY BE BEHIND FALL IN COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE UK”
Closing schools for the summer holidays is probably one of the reasons coronavirus cases are declining across the UK, a leading expert has said.
Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Pandemic Influenza Modeling Scientific Group (Spi-M), advising ministers, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about dropping cases, but only time will tell if the third wave of Covid “turns around”.
The infectious disease expert, from the University of Warwick, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that “any situation where cases are clearly declining is good news”.
But he added: “I think what we have to think about, however, is that there has been a change recently and I think the most important thing is that in many parts of the country schools are now closed for the summer.
“Now, of course, because of that, that means … high school students have been doing lateral flow tests twice a week for quite a long time and we know that right now the cases are slightly higher among young people ( and) because schools are now closed, it may be that part of the reason the cases have decreased somewhat is that we are not detecting as many cases among young people now.
“The other thing we need to look at before we really know if we’re seeing it all turn around is what happens with hospital admissions and, of course, what happens with deaths.”