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School Covid bubble isolation rules need a rethink, clinical epidemiologist tells LBC
28 June 2021, 18:37 | Updated: 28 June 2021, 18:42
A clinical epidemiologist has told LBC there needs to be a "rethink" of the Government's Covid-19 isolation rules for schools.
Dr Raghib Ali gave LBC's Shelagh Fogarty his perspective as the Government has come under pressure to change its self-isolation rules for English schools.
Latest figures from the Department of Education show that, as of 17 June, 2.3 per cent of all state school students were self-isolating due to possible exposure to Covid-19 in school.
Speaking of self-isolation rules for schoolchildren, Dr Ali told LBC: "I mean my kids have been affected by this as well, as have most parents and their children over the last few months.
"So I think we do need to rethink the rules on bubbles because it's causing a lot of disruption to children who have suffered a lot already.
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"And it has an impact on parents of course as well. So my own view is that we should make more use of testing.
"Even the lateral flow tests, I mean they're not as sensitive as PCR [tests]. But for this situation, I think they are really good enough.
"And they will show which children are most likely to be infected.
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"And instead of sending the whole class home or sending the whole year home, I think we could reduce that significantly to those children maybe that are in very close contact.
"And even those children could be tested every day and if they're negative they could still come into school, because we have enough data now."
"Not all the data is released but we have a lot of data to show that, [of] those children that have been in contact with positive cases, the vast majority don't become positive."