•   
  •   

Health & Fitness Omicron variant - why schools won't break up early for Christmas

00:41  01 december  2021
00:41  01 december  2021 Source:   express.co.uk

Did vaccine inequity cause the emergence of Omicron?

  Did vaccine inequity cause the emergence of Omicron? Immunity experts explain how new virus variants emergeThe emergence of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, Omicron, has reignited global discussions of vaccine distribution, virus mutation, and immunity against new virus strains.

The new Covid variant, B.1.1.529, also known as the Omicron variant, has been sparking alarm in Downing Street. Mandatory mask-wearing in shops and on public transport has been reintroduced, alongside tighter international travel restrictions. Could schools close early this Christmas?

Downing Street has addressed concerns that schools could break up early for Christmas.

A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said closing schools early was "not something we are looking to do".

They added: "Education is vital and we've seen how disruptive the restrictions can be.

"We've always taken steps to keep schools open until we've absolutely no other choice."

These Are The Omicron Symptoms You Should Look Out For

  These Are The Omicron Symptoms You Should Look Out For The South African doctor who discovered the new variant says symptoms are 'mild', but with Britains ageing population are they presenting the same way here?The news comes from Dr Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of South African Medical Association, who was one of the first to suspect a new variant of covid had emerged in South Africa.

READ MORE: Have Your Say: Should Britons who refuse jabs be given fines?

Picture of school children wearing masks © GETTY Picture of school children wearing masks Picture of someone wearing a mask and a sign reminding people to wear them © GETTY Picture of someone wearing a mask and a sign reminding people to wear them

The Prime Minister's spokesperson added school children wouldn't be exempt from isolating for 10 days after coming into contact with the new variant.

When asked if children could be made exempt they said: "That's not what we are proposing.

"We believe our measures strike the balance between keeping children in face-to-face learning while ensuring education settings remain as safe as possible while we investigate this new variant."

Downing Street has also assured schools that they are not asking them to cancel their planned nativity plays over the next few weeks.

Moderna warns jabs may be less effective against Omicron

  Moderna warns jabs may be less effective against Omicron The Prime Minister is set to address the nation about compulsory face masks and to urge people to get boosters at a press conference this afternoon. Scotland has confirmed three more Omicron casesStephane Bancel, who leads the vaccine manufacturer, said the mutant strain would likely lead to a 'material drop' in vaccine effectiveness which means new shots could be needed.

Picture of someone wearing a mask in a classroom © GETTY Picture of someone wearing a mask in a classroom

Health minister, Edward Argar, said nativity plays are "important to young people who've had a rough time [over the pandemic]".

The Department for Education has released new guidelines for staff and pupils to follow to help stop the spread of the new variant in schools.

It "strongly advises" that masks are worn in communal areas, such as corridors and on school transport, but masks are not yet compulsory in classrooms.

This new guidance will be reviewed in three weeks.

DON'T MISS: Boris Johnson press conference: Four key changes PM unveiledBlood pressure pills recalled after chemical found with cancer linkOmicron symptoms: Seven early symptoms to spot Picture of people wearing masks on tubes © GETTY Picture of people wearing masks on tubes

Face masks are already mandatory for the majority of pupils in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has said schools must remain open, but restrictions should be followed to buy the Government more time to decide its next steps.

Pfizer applies for authorization of COVID booster for kids 16 and 17

  Pfizer applies for authorization of COVID booster for kids 16 and 17 The drug-maker is applied for regulatory approval from the FDA for the booster shot of their vaccine on Tuesday. It would be the first booster shot available to anyone under 18.The drugmaker applied for emergency use authorization with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their booster shots in children aged 16 or 17 on Tuesday.

Mr Zahawi told ITV: "[To] keep schools open, do all the things necessary, like face masks in communal areas to protect the education in the classroom.

"Face masks are not a panacea. These are all interventions that just help you slow the virus from accelerating too quickly.

"Just to give the scientists a bit more time, a bit more headroom to actually decide what do we need to do next."

In light of the emergence of this new variant, the Department for Education has asked schools to start testing pupils again when they return from their Christmas holidays in January.

It said: "Testing all pupils in school boosts testing participation and will help reduce transmission after a period of social mixing over the school holidays.

"Tests, PPE and funding to support your workforce will be provided as before. After this test on return, pupils should continue to test in line with Government guidelines."

But the Association of School and College Leaders has said these plans are "not reasonable," and criticised the "short timeframe" imposed by the Department for Education.

Tips to keep your plants alive in winter .
Tips to keep your plants alive in winter

usr: 0
This is interesting!