1 MILLION FRENCH KIDS TO BE TESTED FOR COVID-19
Up to a million French children and teachers are to be tested for COVID-19 each month to curb the spread of the British variant, the country's health minister announced, according to Euronews. Children as young as six are to be tested, Olivier Véran said.
"What we know to date is that the virus appears to be more contagious in children. That's what we're seeing in England. Without having more serious cases, at least proportionally," he added.
The government is "closely" monitoring the variant — which is believed to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible — and decide whether to close schools "if the situation was to change and we had an increase in the share of the variant," Véran went on.
The minister stressed that the French Pediatric Society is, for now, calling for schools to remain open. Last week, Prime Minister Jean Castex also said that "the sanitary situation would have to be very serious to close schools" because the consequences are "absolutely dramatic."
England is currently under a third national lockdown due to the emergence last month of the variant, which has led to a sharp rise in infections and deaths. On Wednesday, the UK recorded its highest one-day death toll since the beginning of the pandemic with more than 1,500 fatalities. Schools in areas where the epidemiological situation is particularly severe have been closed.
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