In the midst of a warning that the strain is now the “under control” strain in Scotland, NICOLA Sturgeon was advised to keep schools closed until the spread of the mutant form of Covid-19 is “dominant”
The First Minister told MPs that plans to reopen schools on Jan. 18 are on track, but given the spread of the transmissible version of Covid-19, they were unable to rule out any changes.
Study into the latest positive test findings in the U.K. Government-run lighthouse laboratories find the current Covid-19 variant to be 42.8 percent of Scottish incidents, a dramatic rise from just six percent at the end of November.
The statistics showed that the mutant form “appears to be rapidly becoming the dominant variant circulating in Scotland.” Ms. Sturgeon said.
Coronavirus: all Scots over 50 to be spring vaccinated
Scottish schools were informed that they would not be able to reopen until Jan. 18. Due to concerns about the latest strain of coronavirus, which spreads up to 70 percent more easily among individuals, the holidays have been extended.
The First Minister emphasized that plans to reopen schools on Jan. 18 are still in place, but cautioned that “we will announce them as early as possible.” if changes are necessary.
“We’re working on plans for increased testing in schools once the new school year begins.”Once the new school year begins, we are working on plans for increased testing in schools.
Amid suggestions that the latest coronavirus variant may spread more easily among children and young people, Ms. Sturgeon warned that there is still no “definitive or conclusive” proof by the Scottish government that this is the case.
But the First Minister warned that “influencing our thinking about schools.”
She added: “Any suggestion that it may be more likely that young people are being infected adds to that caution.”
But opposition parties have called for schools to stay closed as the current strain quickly spreads through Scotland.
The latest figures show that in the last 24 hours, 2,045 new cases have been reported in Scotland – the highest number since the start of the pandemic.
With more new cases in the last few days than any other regular increase and the numbers of hospital and intensive care units also increasing, caution is required, said Patrick Harvie, co-chair of the Scottish Greens.
“We need to be frank and agree that until the situation is under control and the role of schools in the transmission of the new strain is recognized, schools will not return. Teachers have already told us that workers don’t feel comfortable, so it’s time to listen.
And, of course, if schools are to be opened, teachers need to benefit from the new enhanced immunization capability.
It is also clear that much more needs to be done to support people, which is an important aspect of testing and safety, to vaccinate themselves. Adequate financial and functional support could improve enforcement and curb infection rates that are out of reach.
Richard Leonard, the Scottish Labour leader, cautioned that the battle against Covid-19 is “at a critical moment.” He added: “The welcome approval of the Oxford vaccine, announced today, now implies that the challenge is to speed up the vaccination program and do so urgently.”
But the recent rise in cases and the spread of the new strain mean that clear and stringent control measures are required in the meantime. As the First Minister has said, without regular testing, teachers and other school workers will return to work in a few days; without vaccination priority, and still worried about whether on January 18 it is safe to return entirely.’
Parents will hear the remarks of the First Minister today and wonder whether after Jan. 18, schools will truly be able to resume face-to-face lessons. The effect of a return to home schooling is a problem for many of them.