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SCHOOLS CLOSING ‘COULD BE BEHIND DROP IN COVID-19 CASES ACROSS UK’
Schools closing for the summer break is likely to be one of the reasons why coronavirus cases are falling across the UK, a leading expert has said.
Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (Spi-M) advising ministers, said he is “cautiously optimistic” about dropping cases but only time will tell if the third Covid wave is “turning round”.
The expert in infectious diseases, from the University of Warwick, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “any situation where cases are falling clearly is good news”.
But he added: “I think what we need to think about, though, is that there has been a change recently and I think the big one is that, in a lot of parts of the country, schools have now closed for the summer.
“Now, of course, because of that, what that means is… secondary school children have been doing lateral flow tests twice a week for quite a long period of time and we know at the moment cases are slightly higher in younger people, (and) because schools have now broken up, it may be that part of the reason cases have dropped somewhat is that we’re not detecting as many cases in younger people now.
“The other thing we do need to look at before we really draw confidence in whether we are seeing everything turning round is what’s happening with hospital admissions and, of course, what’s happening with deaths.”