the professor in epidemiology and public health at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and director of EPI-PHARE, calls for making the presence of CO2 sensors and the installation of air purifiers in classrooms compulsory.
“The current level of viral circulation is five times higher than last year”, alert Mahmoud Zureik, professor in epidemiology and public health at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and director of EPI-PHARE, a scientific interest group. Worried about the back to school 2021, he is one of the signatories of a forum on Thursday published Thursday in The world by one thirty doctors and teachers who call, to ten days before the start of the school year, not to do school “The Achilles heel of health strategy”.
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Mahmoud Zureik does not fail to emphasize once again the “Denial of reality” by Jean-Michel Blanquer. “The Minister of National Education has not changed much”. “When we see that last spring there were between 40 and 50,000 children and teenagers infected and that we were forced to close the schools… It clearly showed that the schools were not secure”. He recalls that children develop mild forms of Covid-19. On the other hand, they transmit the virus,“And this is all the more worrying with the Delta variant. So there will be more infections at school, asymptomatic cases and severe cases ”, he predicts.
“We must make schools safe”
The start of the school year will concern 13 million students and the epidemiologist is alert to the imperative of “Secure schools to protect children”. The goal remains “A face-to-face return to schools, in the interest of the children” and for this, it is imperative to make the air control by CO2 sensors mandatory and install purifiers, which remains a recommendation of the ministry and not an obligation, deplores the professor who recalls that the virus is transmitted by air. “When children eat, talk, sing, there is air transmission and you have to be at a distance from the breath”. He points “a funding problem ”.
Regarding the vaccination of adolescents, “We must vaccinate as much as possible” encourage Mahmoud Zureik. “We are currently at one in two adolescents vaccinated. Vaccination from the age of twelve is necessary, it helps protect teenagers, who can also regain a normal social life ”. However, the professor in epidemiology underlines the difficult implementation of the rule announced at the end of July by Jean-Michel Blanquer. The one that says that in the event of contamination in a class, the unvaccinated people will have lessons remotely. “We must not forget that the vaccinated can also be contaminated, so the rule of the Minister of Education will be complicated to put in place”. In addition, during the vaccination period for children under 12, Mahmoud Zureik considers that “The time has not yet come”. We must wait for the results of clinical trials, he argues.