According to German doctors, the Omikron variant of the coronavirus is generally not dangerous to children. They argue that masks, room ventilation, testing and vaccination are sufficient safeguards.
“You can’t send whole classes or preschool groups home just because one child tested positive.”
Tobias Tenenbaum, president of the German Society for Infectious Diseases in Children (DGPI), has called for an end to the imposition of quarantines on children attending day care centers and schools amid a wave of Omicron variant infections. In an interview with the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, he argued that these children are regularly tested for coronavirus anyway.
An orderly at Berlin’s Sana Klinikum Lichtenberg Hospital expressed concern that educators or health authorities were unnecessarily preventing thousands of children from attending classes. “In view of the mass infections, we urgently call for a pragmatic approach to this issue. Whole classes or nursery groups cannot be sent home just because one child has tested positive. Because this will be the case all the time in the coming weeks,” – Tenenbaum said.
“Preventing the spread of the virus by closing day care centers or schools is no longer the right way to go.”
He added that masks, room airing, testing and vaccinations are now sufficient tools to keep facilities open for the benefit of children. “Preventing the spread of the virus by closing daycare facilities or schools is no longer the right way to go,” said the president of the German Society for Infectious Diseases in Children.
The DGPI chief cited international studies and his own observations, which show that the Omicron variant is generally not dangerous to children. As he said, among children it is extremely rare to have a severe course of the disease. The doctor explained that these are isolated cases, accompanied by special risk factors, such as being very overweight. He added that vaccination protects children and adolescents from the severe course of the disease. “Therefore, all children should be vaccinated, especially those in the risk group,” Tobias Tenenbaum stressed.