The Imperial College London scientists behind REACT-1 say Covid rates may bounce off high levels for some time. They found that one in 13 children ages 5 to 11 tested positive.
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Covid cases have stopped falling in England due to rising infections among schoolchildren.
Roughly one in 13 of children ages five to 11 tested positive in the latest round of the larger swab test survey.
It was one in 23 of the entire population and one in 41 of those over 75.
The Imperial College London scientists behind the REACT-1 study say Covid rates may bounce off high levels for some time.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme, said: “In children, the rates have increased while in adults they have decreased.
“It is still at very high levels in adults, but it is declining. there is a risk [infections] It can happen again to adults.
He added: “Infections got to a very high level and then went down.
“Now there is some indication that the decline is stalling.” The drop in adult cases has been blamed on less mixing after the holiday period. The increase in cases in children occurs after the end of the school holidays.
REACT study co-author Professor Christl Donnelly warned that a new, more transmissible variant may be the “wild card” that could cause cases to rise again.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs: “I think there is likely to be another variant that will cause problems in the future.”
During the REACT study period, with 106,000 swab test results in England between January 5 and 20, the overall R-rate was 0.95, but it was 1.13 in those under 18 years of age.
Covid rates were highest in the North East and West Midlands.
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Two-thirds of those who tested positive in January had previously had the virus. One million pupils, about one in eight, did not attend school last Thursday, the latest figures show. While a record number of teachers and school leaders were also absent, around one in 11.
The NAHT school leaders union warned that staff are “struggling to keep things running”. While a principal told parliamentarians that some primary school children are two or three years behind in their social development.
Official figures yesterday showed a further 439 Covid deaths in the UK.
Infections rose to 94,326 from 88,447 on Monday.
New cases had been falling from post-Christmas levels of 190,000.
The rules on the figures changed yesterday to start including reinfections within 90 days of an initial positive test.
Previously, these had only been recorded in the data as a single infection.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.