- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

UK Study Shows Only Six Children Have Died Of Covid-19 – And All Had Serious Health Problems Already

© AP Photo / Matt DunhamBRITAIN SICK BABY
BRITAIN SICK BABY - Sputnik International
The new research may reassure worried parents but also anger education unions who have raised concerns over all pupils returning to school.

Only six British children have died of Covid-19 and all had 'profound' pre-existing health problems, new research has shown.

The lead author of the study published in the British Medical Journal said it should reassure parents anxious about their children returning to school next month amid the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

"They should be confident that their children are not going to be put at direct harm by going back to school," said the University of Liverpool's Professor Calum Semple.

"We do know that they are harmed by being kept away from school because of the lack of educational opportunities, and that’s affecting mental health."

Most British children have been home-schooled since the start of March this year, when the government ordered schools to close their doors to all except the children of key workers, those with special educational needs and those deemed at risk of abuse or neglect at home.

The professor said the review of 651 identified child cases in England, Scotland and Wales showed that "severe disease is rare and death is vanishingly rare" among Great Britain's 16 million under-19s. 

The BMJ paper stated that "six (1%) of 627 patients died in hospital, all of whom had profound comorbidity."

It noted that Chinese data showed that only 0.6 per cent of children with the virus became critically ill.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), which is funded by the government.

Участница косплея в маске на выставке ChinaJoy в Шанхае  - Sputnik International
‘Tremendously Effective’: Face Coverings Block 99.9% of COVID-19 Respiratory Droplets - Study
The paper's publication comes as an ongoing row rages between government, teaching unions and parents over whether it is safe for children in England and Wales to go back to school in just over a week's time.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has threatened to fine parents who refuse to send their children back to school out of fear of the virus.

And the National Education Union (NEU) is calling for all schools to comply with its own 10-point checklist before reopening.

"We want the Government to plan for alternatives to full opening – in the event of a second wave or local lockdowns," the NEU says. "And we want the Government to accept that some of its recommended measures may not go far enough, particularly if the virus is more prevalent in September."

And NASUWT, the other large education union, criticised the government's "contradiction between its general advice requiring the use of face masks and face coverings in many public places and its position on their use in schools."

 A scientist works inside a laboratory of the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology during the production and laboratory testing of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Moscow, Russia - Sputnik International
Three More COVID-19 Vaccines Being Registered in Russia, Health Minister Reveals
That was after a change in government advice on whether secondary schoolchildren must wear protective face masks in corridors, lunch halls and playgrounds appeared to confuse matters further.

The Department of Health said this week that masks would be compulsory in areas under a local lockdown, but would be at the discretion of headteachers elsewhere.

Scotland's nationalist-controlled devolved government ruled this week that all secondary pupils will have to wear face masks in communal areas next term. Scottish schools went back on August 11.

But the Labour administration in Wales has followed Westminster's lead by saying it is up to individual secondary schools and sixth-form colleges to decide if they are necessary.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has also insisted children should go back to school at the start of September, undermining the trade union position.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала