Schools plead for Indian variant data to be made public

Concerned teachers and school leaders are pleading with the government to come clean on just how prevalent the Indian Covid-19 variant of concern is in schools.

At the time of writing there is still no official data available about the spread of the B.1.617.2 variant among school-age children.

A report in The Observer over the weekend claimed that Downing Street put pressure on Public Health England (PHE) to hold back data on the spread of the Indian variant in schools. It claims that an early draft of a PHE report earlier this month included a page of data on the spread in schools, which was subsequently removed (Cadwalladr, 2021).

The latest official update shows that as of May 19, there are now 3,424 cases of the B.1.617.2 coronavirus variant of concern, known as the Indian variant in the UK. This is an increase of 2,111 since May 12 and includes 3,245 cases in England and 136 in Scotland (PHE, 2021a).

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