Children are just as likely as adults to get the coronavirus, suggests the most accurate study of the crisis in England.
The results will intensify the conflict between teachers’ unions and the government, which wants to gradually reopen schools for primary school students and grades 10 and 12 from June 1.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news and updates
The unions oppose the plan and have warned that prices will not resume before September.
They have asked the government to urgently publish scientific evidence of the decision to reopen English schools to more students from June 1.
A National Statistics Office survey of 10,705 people found “no evidence” of age group differences among those who tested positive.
The number of people who test positive for coronavirus is between 0.2 and 0.4% at all ages.
Simon Clarke, associate professor of cell microbiology at the University of Reading, who was not part of the ONS project, said: “We have a horrible choice ahead of us with the reopening of schools.
“When we first discovered this virus, we knew in China that children did not seem to be as affected. This brings us to two questions. The first is whether they get the virus. And now we know it does. The second is whether they pass it on. We don’t know the answer to that. “
Last month, a study by the Royal College of Pediatricians and Child Health found that children “don’t play an important role” in the spread of the deadly virus.
They said the evidence “consistently shows a reduction in the infection and infectivity of children in the chain of transmission.”
And there hasn’t been a single case of a child under the age of 10 transmitting the coronavirus as part of the World Health Organization’s contact tracing.
However, some children have a rare inflammatory syndrome for weeks after being infected with Covid-19.
In a very small number of children, this can lead to serious complications, some requiring intensive care.
Up to 100 children in the UK have been affected and studies suggest that the same reaction is seen in children elsewhere in Europe.
It is likely caused by a delayed immune response to the virus that resembles Kawasaki disease.
Council leaders said schools should be allowed to make their own decisions about reopening – especially in areas where there is a higher proportion of black, Asian and ethnic minority residents.
This comes after analysis by the Office of National Statistics suggested that black men and women are more than four times more likely to die from a coronavirus than white people.
The government has faced increasing pressure from union leaders and MPs to publish the science behind its plans to bring children back to school.
Osama Rahman, chief science advisor to the Ministry of Education, said there was “a low level of confidence” in the evidence suggesting that children transmit less Covid-19 than adults.
London has only 24 cases a day and could be free from virus in two weeks, says PHE
‘THE WILD WEST’
Inside the Jeremy Kyle Estate where locked-out blur spits and fights on the street
Baby less than 48 hours old found in recycling center while police are chasing mom
Red weather maps show UK holiday heatwave as the British prepare for the sizzler 26c
Heartbroken’s 27-year-old daughter found dead after unable to attend Nan’s funeral
Deaths in viral care homes highest in southeast and northwest with 12,000 deaths
Former Secretary of Work Education Lord Blunkett said yesterday that he was “surprised” by the attitude of union leaders towards the reopening of schools.
He said, “I deeply criticize this attitude. It’s about how we can work together to make it work as safely as possible. Anyone who works against me works against it works against the interests of children. “
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “When you have medical and scientific advice that says it is the right time to start bringing the schools back in a gradual and controlled manner, it only seems like the right thing to do and the only responsible thing to do. “
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN KNOWLEDGE
Don’t miss the latest news and figures – and essential tips for you and your family.
To receive The Sun’s Coronavirus newsletter in your inbox every tea hour, sign up here.
To follow us on Facebook, all you need to do is like our Coronavirus page.
Get Britain’s top-selling daily newspaper on your smartphone or tablet every day – learn more.