Covid-19: caregivers ask Olivier Véran to postpone the start of the school year

The 50 signatories of an open letter addressed to the Minister of Health, published in the JDD, also plead for the use of distance education.

In an open letter to the Minister of Health published on Saturday, December 25 in Sunday Newspaper (JDD), 51 health personnel are alerting Olivier Véran of the consequences of the circulation of Covid-19 on the health of the youngest and calling for measures to slow down the epidemic in schools.

The signatories urge the Minister of Health to take action “health management in schools.“Force of proposal, they call for the postponement of the start of the January 3 school year, which they believe”at high risk given its proximity to New Year’s festivities“. A measure that would be completed by a “recourse to distance education until the return to health indicator thresholds defined publicly.

In addition, they call for “raising the awareness of educational bodies on aerosol transmission and the practices to be adopted to limit the risk of airborne contamination of the virus : CO2 sensors, aeration, ventilation, etc.“Several other proposals for measures follow, aimed in particular at the development of a new health protocol in schools, better communication and awareness of families on the proven risks of Covid-19 for children and”clear fight by the Ministry of Health against disinformation on the epidemic situation among children and against the denigration of the vaccination campaign.

SEE ALSO – Should we postpone the start of the school year in the face of the surge in Covid-19 cases? Odile Launay’s response

An unprecedented wave in the coming weeks

This fifty or so caregivers predicted “an unprecedented wave in the coming weeks of care for children with pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS), as well as sequelae linked to the development, in some cases, of a lasting form of the disease ( “Long pediatric Covid”).According to them, more than 300,000 children and adolescents have been confirmed positive for Covid-19»Since the beginning of November..

To support their remarks, they rely on a study by the team led by the Italian researcher Vittoria Colizza who considers that “the virus is circulating more in schools, primary and secondary schools than in the community at the same time, showing that contacts within schools increase the potential for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 compared to the community. Moreover, in many departments, the epidemic recovery clearly started in the fall with clusters in schools.“. And to recall that “one of the first clusters of the Omicron variant was also detected in schools.

Weak resources and contradictory words

In their forum, these caregivers deplore “the weak resources deployed so far by the Ministry of National Education to curb the epidemic in schools, whether to combat the airborne risk of contamination, or to organize effective testing campaigns.“They also regret the”about some experts, who continue to downplay the impact of Covid-19 on children and question the value of vaccination for children aged 5 to 11, at the same time when the vaccination campaign will be launched in France and requires a major effort to obtain the support of parents.

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