Millions of students return to school amid concerns over surge in Coronavirus "COVID-19" cases

Millions of students return to school amid concerns over surge in Coronavirus “COVID-19” cases

UK: Millions of Students have returned to schools amid concerns over surge in COVID cases. Health officials are conducting pre-term testing for the virus.

Amid fears of a spike in COVID-19 cases, millions of pupils in England are returning to classrooms. According to the BBC, UK health officials are conducting pre-term Coronavirus testing to limit the spread of infections, however, rules on social distancing and face masks have been uplifted. With eased restrictions, scientists have warned of a rapid rise in school cases, while experts have not recommended vaccines for healthy 12 to 15-years-old.

But, ministers have been pushing for a return to normality, even though the cases are over 30 times higher among children compared with last year. According to reports, in the week of August 28, there were more than 300 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 among five to 15-year-olds, which compares with less than 10 per 100,000 in the same week of 2020. Amid COVID spike concern, headteachers are hoping for a smoother term, but they also want school safety measures to be kept under review.

Anxiety among school kids

Meanwhile, even though officials have repeatedly said that young people suffer much milder disease, there is still anxiety among pupils about how the term will pan out. BBC reported that a Bournemouth A-level student, Olivia has said that she is finding the prospect of just carrying on ‘very daunting’. She has asked if she can repeat last year.

Another Blackburn pupil Muhammad Sahal reportedly said that he is looking forward to seeing friends and getting back to his studies. But he also worries about the face-to-face teaching he has missed. The 14-year-old said there has not been much normal during his time at secondary school. He added that it is great that the school bubbles have gone, however, there are concerns such as the rise of COVID-19 cases in Scotland.

National Association of Head Teachers general secretary Paul Whiteman, on the other hand, has said that schools were focused on helping pupils recover from the disruption. But he also added that there were ongoing concerns around the level of support offered by the government. Whiteman even went on to say that more funding from the government to ensure pupils get when they need is required.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education has said that the term’s safety measures strike a balance between making schools safe and reducing disruption. He said that the officials know that the past 18 months have been ‘incredibly difficult’ for young people. He further added that the department has invested more than £17 million to build on the mental health support currently available in schools.