Coronavirus flare-ups force France to re-close some schools
At least 70 cases of coronavirus have been reported among pupils in nursery and primary schools in France since May 11, when 1.4 million children returned to their schools.
Some schools were opened last week and a further 150,000 junior high students went back to the classroom Monday as further restrictions were loosened by the government. The move initially spelled relief: the end of homeschooling for many hundreds of thousands of French parents, many whom were also maintaining their jobs by working from home.
But French Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer sounded the alarm Monday, telling French radio RTL that the return has put some children in new danger of contamination. He said the affected schools are being closed immediately. French media reported that seven schools in northern France were closed.
To date, the number of deaths from coronavirus in France is 28,108, the total number of cases reaching 142,411. So far, 61,213 patients have recovered.
The situation highlights the precarious situation the French government is finding itself in as it seeks both to reassure the public that the country is moving forward past coronavirus and to react prudently to safeguard public health.
Blanquer did not specify if the 70 cases of COVID-19 were among students or teachers.
Given that the incubation period for the virus is several days, people are “likely” to have been infected before the reopening of the schools, he said.
France reopened about 40,000 preschools and primary schools last week, with classes capped at 15 students.
About 30% of children went back to school, Blanquer said. The government has allowed parents to keep children at home.
Kawasaki disease and coronavirus: symptoms, case in France.
125 children with symptoms similar to Kawasaki syndrome or disease have been identified in France. One in two had, had a recent Covid-19 infection and a 9-year-old boy died in Marseille.
The father of the 9-year-old boy who died in Marseille from a syndrome similar to that of Kawasaki and who had a recent Covid-19 infection announced on BFM TV that he would file a complaint against the establishment.
He believes that this “drama could have been avoided if he had stayed in the hospital the first time”. His farther said: “he had a high fever, he practically did not eat and vomited a lot. He also had severe diarrhoea and red pimples appeared all over his body.” After going to Pediatric Emergency, the child was sent home with antibiotics. Doctors suspected scarlet fever. His condition then brutally deteriorated. The child was re-hospitalised as an emergency, but died a week later.
We simply do not understand or know enough about this disease
Hundreds of children in the UK, US and elsewhere in Europe have been affected by a rare inflammatory disease linked to coronavirus
The PMIS syndrome, first discovered in London, has since appeared in the US and five other countries, with the US seeing more than 130 cases so far. It affects children of all ages and all ethnicities – and Italian research suggests that it hits around one in a thousand children infected with the virus.
Doctors and world leaders need “to be on the alert” for cases of a rare inflammatory disease in children that may be linked to the coronavirus, the World Health Organization said Friday.
World health officials are increasingly hearing about cases of an inflammatory disease similar to Kawasaki disease in a few countries, including the United States and Italy, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said during a news conference at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.
The WHO said initial reports hypothesised that this syndrome, which can cause high fever and swelling in blood vessels, may be related to Covid-19.
“We need more information collected in a systematic way because with the initial reports, we’re getting a description of what this looks like, which is not always the same,” Kerkhove said. “And in some children, they tested positive for Covid-19 and other children have not. So we do not know if this is associated with Covid-19.”
Scores of UK and US children have been affected by a rare inflammatory disease linked to coronavirus.
In a tiny number of children it can cause serious complications, with some needing intensive care.
Up to 100 children in the UK have been affected and studies suggest the same reaction is being seen in children elsewhere in Europe.
It is likely to be caused by a delayed immune response to the virus which looks like Kawasaki disease.