This content is published April 14, 2021 – 17:50 April 14, 2021 – 17:50 Keystone-SDA / jc
The two separate studies were launched in parallel on Wednesday. Speaking at a virtual event to launch the Organization for Co-operation and Development (OECD) report, University of Zurich epidemiologist Susi Kriemler said her study showed schools were not the prime places to spread the virus.
The Zurich study, led by Kriemler, looked at 2,500 children and adolescents aged 6 to 16 in the canton of Zurich who were tested for coronavirus antibodies during each of the three pandemic waves. Two percent tested positive for antibodies during the first wave in March and April 2020 when schools in Switzerland were closed, and 8% during the second wave when they opened. Neither of them became seriously ill, and there was little indication the children were contagious, Kriemler said. Findings from the third wave are not yet available.
OECD Education and Skills Director Andreas Schleicher on Wednesday emphasized the harmful effects of school closures on children and adolescents, which deprive them of important social spaces. He presented findings from the reportExternal link on ‘the state of school education one year after the pandemic’, which looked at about 30 different education systems and their responses.
The OECD report found that different OECD member countries (including Switzerland) had responded differently to education during the pandemic, and school closures were not always associated with the number of infections. Although online learning has been developed, the youngest children cannot take advantage of this, and the educational impact of school closings hits the most disadvantaged students.
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