As schools prepare to reopen, the government could risk a second wave of the coronavirus if the test-and-trace system is not significantly advanced.
Researchers warned the government of the UK that it can only prevent a second wave of the pandemic if at least 75 per cent of people with symptoms are tested. The government has reintroduced local restrictions in some areas as the number of infections continue to increase.
The spike in certain areas in the country has prompted the government to restate its determination to reopen schools in England to all pupils in all year groups in September.
A number of teaching unions and Labour have called on the government to improve its test-and-trace system before schools reopen.
Kate Green, the shadow education secretary said: “The government can’t walk away from its responsibilities. Ministers must rapidly improve the test-and-trace system before pupils go back to class in September.”
The closure and partial reopening of schools during the lockdown has been a matter of concern among experts about the impact on children`s mental health and education.
Prof Chris Bonell, the co-author of the new research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “As countries are easing lockdown measures it is important to assess the impact of different lockdown exit strategies including whether and how to reopen schools as the first step of reopening society.
“We aim to estimate the level of testing needed to avert a second wave in different scenarios of coverage of [test, trace and isolate programmes] and students returning to school full-time or part-time.”
The researchers who modelled a range of scenarios for the reopening of schools as part of the country`s exit strategy have suggested that significantly boosting the test-and-trace before reopening will help to curb the spread of coronavirus.