Closing Schools May Have Been A Mistake, Tough To Find Single Instance Of  Child To Teacher Transmission Of Covid-19: UK Govt Scientific AdvisorA school in Britain (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Mark Woolhouse, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Edinburgh University, and member of the UK government’s scientific advisory group, Sage, has said that, with benefit of hindsight wisdom, closing schools in March was probably a mistake.

“One thing we have learnt is that children are certainly, in the five to 15 brackets from school to early years, are minimally involved in the epidemiology of this virus.” Woolhoouse said to The Times, a leading newspaper in UK.

According to government data, only 15 children and teenagers have died of coronavirus in England and Wales since March (0.03 per cent of the total deaths). Another study published by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in June that found that only two in 10 children with coronavirus have any symptoms of it.

“They are probably less susceptible and vanishingly unlikely to end up in hospital or to die from it.” Woolhouse noted

According to scientists, children are rarely be seriously affected by Covid-19 and the virus preys on existing ill health and is most dangerous for the elderly. Getting fewer symptoms and milder illness may make them less likely to spread it.

“There is increasing evidence that they rarely transmit. For example, it is extremely difficult to find any instance anywhere in the world a single example of a child transmitting to a teacher in school. There may have been one in Australia but it is incredibly rare. There are certain environments where this virus transmits very well, and children are not present in these environments.” Woolhouse added.

Prof Woolhouse suggested that closing schools was 'never essential' and said it was unlikely that governments would repeat the drastic step.

Professor Woolhouse said: "Most governments in Europe now recognise that stopping children playing outside was not needed, and most governments will probably now say that going to school as normal is safe. We can use that information in the future.”

The issue of school re-opening has been contentious.

Two weeks after Israel fully reopened schools , more than 50 schools were shut due to COVID-19 outbreak sweeping through classrooms with at least 261 students and faculty infected. Close to 250 students and school employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, a

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