Euronews 16 Nov 2020

Liverpool introduces mass testing for secondary school pupils


Soldiers are manning sites all over the city after the army was been drafted in to carry out the tests.
The first phase of a government scheme known as 'Operation moonshot'.

More than one in 5 secondary school pupils in England is out of school due to coronavirus - the highest number since September.

Keeping children in the classroom has been one of the key goals for the government who say half a million laptops are going to schools to help pupils who are isolating.

But it's a policy which comes with enormous challenges for both pupils and staff. Before the pandemic - school attendance was generally around 95%. The latest figures show just 78% of teenagers are in the classroom.

Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reporting by education Branwen Jeffreys in Knowsley on Merseyside.
To find a new way to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Britain launched a COVID-19 mass testing pilot scheme in the northwest city of Liverpool on Friday. Everyone can take a test no matter if you have symptoms. Here is what the residents have to say about this program.
The government hopes mass testing could be the way out of the toughest tiers for some areas until vaccines become widely available.

Infection levels have dropped off by 30% and in Liverpool the reduction is even greater, which the Government puts down to mass testing.

That programme will now be rolled out to other town and cities but there are concerns about the accuracy of so-called rapid result tests.

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Secondary school attendance in England has fallen further due to Covid - down from 87% to 83%.

There is growing evidence that the picture is worst in parts of the north of England.

A coalition of business and council leaders there says the government needs to rethink whether holding exams next year is fair.

Reeta Chakrabarti presents BBC News at Ten reporting by education editor Branwen Jeffreys in Oldham.

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