English school return spurred COVID in children, but cases fell in adults — study

English school return spurred COVID in children, but cases fell in adults — study
The study found that the epidemic was growing among those under 17. (AFP/File)
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Updated 14 October 2021

English school return spurred COVID in children, but cases fell in adults — study

English school return spurred COVID in children, but cases fell in adults — study
  • Imperial study finds September rise in child COVID cases
  • Epidemic shrinks in younger to middle aged adults

LONDON: COVID-19 infections in children in England rose in September after schools returned from summer holidays, helping to keep cases high even as there was a fall among adults, a large prevalence study showed on Thursday.
The REACT-1 study, led by Imperial College London, is the latest to find that more children are getting infected with COVID-19 following the reopening of schools at the start of September.
Infection numbers in Britain are currently much higher than in other western European countries, with more than 30,000 new cases reported every day this month, but have not risen above summer levels following the return of schools in England despite the higher infection rates in children.
The study found that prevalence in 13 to 17-year-olds was 2.55 percent between Sept 9-27, with prevalence in those aged 5 to 12 at 2.32 percent. Prevalence for every adult age group was estimated below 1 percent.
The study found that the epidemic was growing among those under 17, with an estimated reproduction “R” number of 1.18. An R number above 1 implies exponential growth, while a number below 1 implies the epidemic is shrinking.
The epidemic was estimated to be shrinking in 18-54 year olds, with an R number of 0.81, while the epidemic was broadly steady among those over 55.
While around 90 percent of over 18s have had one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, vaccination rates of children are much lower, and broad vaccination of those aged 12-15 only began last month.
“Prevalence was high and increasing in school aged children during September,” Paul Elliott, who led the study, told reporters.
“Increased vaccination uptake in school-aged children, and the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated adults will help reduce the potential for transmission.”
The study is intended to give an estimate of infection numbers that are unaffected by trends in people coming forward to be tested with COVID symptoms.
There was overall prevalence of 0.83 percent out of 100,527 valid swabs submitted, higher than the 0.63 percent recorded by the study in July before cases peaked later that month.


At least 3 dead in apparent gas explosion in north China

At least 3 dead in apparent gas explosion in north China
Updated 58 min 38 sec ago

At least 3 dead in apparent gas explosion in north China

At least 3 dead in apparent gas explosion in north China
  • China is replacing decades-old infrastructure, with gas lines an especially dangerous part of the project
  • That blast appeared similar to one that occurred in the northeastern port of Qingdao in 2013

BEIJING: An apparent gas explosion gutted part of a high rise in northern China on Thursday morning, killing at least three people and injuring 30.
It occurred at a hotel in Shenyang, a city of more than 8 million people and a major industrial center that is in the process of renovating and replacing decaying gas lines, state media reported.
Images posted online by news website The Paper and state broadcaster CCTV showed a cloud of dust and debris blowing onto a busy street, leaving the bottom three floors of the building a gutted shell. Concrete blocks were piled in the street and a three-wheeled delivery vehicle lay on its side.
China is replacing decades-old infrastructure, with gas lines an especially dangerous part of the project. In June, a gas line explosion at a market and residential area in the central city of Shiyan killed 25.
That blast appeared similar to one that occurred in the northeastern port of Qingdao in 2013, in which 55 people were killed when underground pipelines ripped open following a leak.
Along with the deteriorations caused by age, weak adherence to safety standards, poor maintenance and corruption among enforcement bodies are all considered contributors to such disasters. Among China’s worst accidents was a massive 2015 explosion at a chemical warehouse in the port city of Tianjin that killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers.


Flood deaths in India and Nepal cross 150

Flood deaths in India and Nepal cross 150
Updated 21 October 2021

Flood deaths in India and Nepal cross 150

Flood deaths in India and Nepal cross 150
  • In Nainital, a popular tourist destination in the Himalayan state, the town’s main lake broke its banks
  • India’s federal interior minister Amit Shah is set to survey affected areas on Thursday

NEW DELHI: More than 150 people have died in flooding across India and Nepal, officials said on Thursday, as unseasonably heavy rains across the region led to flash floods in several areas, stranding residents and destroying homes and infrastructure.
The north Indian state of Uttarakhand has been especially badly-hit, with 48 confirmed deaths, SA Murugesan, secretary of the state’s disaster management department told Reuters.
In Nainital, a popular tourist destination in the Himalayan state, the town’s main lake broke its banks, submerging the main thoroughfare and damaging bridges and rail tracks. And rescuers from India’s paramilitary National Disaster Response Force were evacuating residents from communities hit by landslides.
India’s federal interior minister Amit Shah is set to survey affected areas on Thursday.
Some 42 people have died in the last week in the southern Indian state of Kerala, according to a statement from the chief minister’s office.
In neighboring Nepal, at least 77 people have died.
India’s annual monsoon rains usually run from June to September.


France condemns North Korea missile test

France condemns North Korea missile test
Updated 21 October 2021

France condemns North Korea missile test

France condemns North Korea missile test

France expressed “great concern” on Wednesday after a ballistic missile fire test conducted on Tuesday by North Korea landed in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

France condemned the repeated shootings carried out by North Korea in recent weeks, which undermines regional and international peace and security.

France once again urged North Korea to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions to engage in a process of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

A French foreign ministry statement said Paris would meet the U.N. Security Council members Wednesday on the issue.

This story originally appeared in Arab News Japan


Ukraine’s new daily coronavirus cases, deaths hit record

Ukraine’s new daily coronavirus cases, deaths hit record
Updated 21 October 2021

Ukraine’s new daily coronavirus cases, deaths hit record

Ukraine’s new daily coronavirus cases, deaths hit record
  • There were also 546 new deaths, surpassing the Oct. 19 record of 538
  • Ministry data showed 22,415 new cases over the past 24 hours

KYIV: Ukraine registered a record daily high of new coronavirus infections and related deaths, the health ministry said on Thursday.
Ministry data showed 22,415 new cases over the past 24 hours, exceeding the previous high of 20,341 on April 3.
There were also 546 new deaths, surpassing the Oct. 19 record of 538.


India administers its billionth COVID-19 jab

India administers its billionth COVID-19 jab
Updated 21 October 2021

India administers its billionth COVID-19 jab

India administers its billionth COVID-19 jab
  • Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people has had one shot

NEW DELHI: India administered its billionth Covid-19 vaccine dose on Thursday, according to the health ministry, half a year after a devastating surge in cases brought the health system close to collapse.
According to the government, around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people has had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated.