WHO warns against reopening schools as “political football” in coronavirus debate

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World Health Organization officials warned world leaders on Monday not to turn the decision to reopen schools “into another political football game.””My fear is that we are creating these political footballs that are thrown everywhere,” said Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, at a press conference at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva. . “If we remove the virus from our society, from our communities, our schools can open safely. ”

WHO officials noted that current studies show that coronavirus does not generally make children as sick as adults, but the organization’s research on the impact of Covid-19 on children is “still limited ”

“We know that overall they tend to have a milder illness, but in some situations they can have a serious illness and we have seen children who have died,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, chief of staff. WHO Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit.

Ryan added that scientists still don’t know the long-term effect of coronavirus on children’s health, although they tend to have milder symptoms.

“The fact remains that when community transmission exists and community transmission is intense, children will be exposed to this virus and children will be part of the transmission cycle,” said Ryan.

“They will be exposed, some will be infected and they will infect others,” he said.

In the United States, health officials and government officials have debated whether to reopen schools this fall as the country experiences an increase in coronavirus cases.

Last week, President Donald Trump stepped up pressure to have public schools completely reopened, threatening to deny federal funding to states that don’t reopen their schools.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates later.

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