A study prompted by concerns over schools outbreaks has shown that primary school children have the lowest rate of infection of all age groups.
Despite fears of an increase in infections due to the reopening of schools across the UK, the study has shown that children are at a lower risk of getting the coronavirus than adults. Primary school children are about 40 per cent less likely than adults to be infected, the study revealed.
In view of the study, keeping classrooms closed and keeping children at home will have a negative impact on them than sending them to school.
The lead author of the study, Professor Russel Viner of the UCL and Great Ormand Street children`s hospital said: “I think we have a coherent policy about testing in schools, but we are probably being overcautious and testing too many children. It was the right thing to start with, but it has had some unintended consequences”.
When the autumn season began a number of children started having unusual colds, with sneezing and running noses which caused their concerned parents to rush for tests. However, scientists confirmed that these are not Covid-19 symptoms and testing too many children will only increase testing shortages.
There have been widespread complaints about shortages in testing amid the rising infections across the country.
Viner said: “There is clearly limited capacity in testing at the moment. We need to be thinking: ‘Are we testing too many children?’ because of our understandable but probably unscientific and misplaced concerns about children being infected in schools.”
Youngsters aged 17 to 20, have similar rates of infections to adults, the study published by the leading medical journal Jama Pediatrics showed. Reducing the number of children tested will create more capacity for testing adults who have a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.