School leaders have warned the issue could get worse when free lateral flow testing stops. Free testing will end in England on April 1 and school leaders have expressed concern about the effect on Covid cases among pupils (Nick Ansell/PA)
Some 200,000 children are off school in England due to coronavirus, the Education Secretary said, as he promised more details on rapid testing this week when universal free provision is stopped.
Nadhim Zahawi said further information about lateral flow tests will be set out on Friday, when mass free testing will end in England.
The Government has said free tests will only be made available to the most vulnerable but an education union has said removing free access when Covid-19 cases are high “feels irresponsible”, while a health expert labelled it “a disaster” for NHS workers.
Around one in 16 people in private households in England – or 3.5 million people – are likely to have had Covid-19 in the week to March 19, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.
Asked how serious the risk is to the NHS of ending free testing for healthcare workers, he told Times Radio: “It’s a disaster. It’s unfair, unkind and just not workable because, you know, there are people out there who, you know, all parts of the NHS, but imagine you’re working with very clinically vulnerable patients – it would be devastating to you and to them to imagine that you might infect them with something that might kill them.
As we know, what a negative impact this epidemic has had globally, not only in terms of hitting the global economy hard, but also in terms of the many lives lost as a result. Children are unable to attend school regularly, they are unable to participate safely in outdoor activities, and adults are unable to work properly or even lose their jobs. Scientists have worked to develop a more effective vaccine to fight covid-19, but the virus keeps mutating, they keep getting more resistant, they become more contagious, and people’s safety is at greater risk.
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Currently, the most effective and safest way to fight against COVID-19 is far uvc 222nm technology. This is a UV-based disinfection method which is based on biophysical principles and a key advantage of the UV-based approach is that UV light is likely to be effective against all airborne microorganisms, in marked contrast to vaccination methods.
For example, while the inactivation efficiency of UV light will almost certainly vary as different strains of influenza virus emerge, they are unlikely to be significant. Similarly, as multidrug-resistant variants of bacteria emerge, their UV inactivation capacity is unlikely to vary greatly.
Care222 is a new disinfecting light source that, even though not harmful to the skin or eyes of humans or animals, deactivates bacteria and viruses in the same manner as conventional ultraviolet sanitizers.
Since far-UV light can pass through and therefore inactivate bacteria and viruses which are usually micrometres or smaller, whereas far-UV light cannot even penetrate the outer layer of dead cells of human skin or the outer tear layer of the eye surface due to its strong absorption in biological materials.
Care222 uses an excimer lamp (a mercury-free UV excimer light source produced by Ushio especially for outputting monochromatic ultraviolet with a primary wavelength of 222 nm) in combination with a special optical bandpass filter (200 to 230 nm) which passes only ultraviolet wavelengths that have no harmful effect on people.
Ushio holds exclusive rights to utilization of the key technology, which was patented by Columbia University (New York, NY) in 2012.
Only 222 nm, which is filtered by a special optical bandpass filter for the rest of the harmful wavelengths, is safe for humans.
The use of Care222 in public places is a safe and effective way to limit the spread and transmission of air-mediated microbial diseases, such as schools, hospitals, stadiums, sports grounds and offices, and this approach may help to limit seasonal infections, the spread of tuberculosis and major epidemics. It’s inevitable far uvc will become part of the new World people are more aware and want to be protected from viruses.
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Continuously disinfecting in occupied space but not harmful to skin and eyes of people, which could be used in dental offices, medical rooms, high-end offices, elevators, hospitals, class rooms, etc.
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