As the backlog of lab tests for COVID-19 hits 80,000 in Ontario, the province has changed the guidelines for children attending school or daycare so that they will no longer require a negative test to return to class if they only have only one symptom.
“We are changing the policy and clarifying that schools and daycares should not be requiring a negative COVID test [if children have just one symptom]. In fact they shouldnt even be requiring a doctors note,” Ontarios Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said during a briefing on Thursday.
Many schools have told parents that if their child has even one of 17 virus symptoms, they have to test negative or self-isolate for 14 days before being allowed back into class.
The child will now require a negative test or will have to see a doctor only if they have the four main symptoms: a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or a loss of taste or smell.
Schools will screen students by asking parents whether their child has a primary symptom for COVID-19 such as a fever or a cough. Any student with those symptoms will be advised to stay home until they see a doctor or get tested.
The parent will also be asked about secondary symptoms such as a runny nose. Students with one of the secondary symptoms will be asked to stay at home for 24 hours.
Children who only have a runny nose do not require a doctors note or a negative test to return to class. A runny nose is still one of the secondary symptoms in Ontario, although it has been removed from the list in British Columbia.
“It is still there [on the list] but what we want to look at really is whether it is a significant symptom and whether they have other symptoms as well,” Yaffe said. “If they only have the runny nose and they go home and it gets better and they have no other symptoms then they can go back to school the next day,”
Ontario set a new record for the number of COVID-19 tests—83,473—that still need to be analyzed.
Premier Doug Ford has previously said that anyone who wanted a test should get one. On Thursday, however, he said, “If you arent showing symptRead More – Source
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Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in Niger
Dozens of people were killed in an attack in Niger on Saturday, in a suspected jihadist attack.
The attack took place around 12:00 CET in the Tchomo-Bangou village in Tillabéri, a western region bordering Mali.
“The assailants surrounded the village and killed up to 50 people,” a local radio journalist said anonymously. “The wounded have been evacuated to the hospital in Ouallam.”
It came on the day provisional results for the first round of the presidential election, held on December 27, were released.
Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate for the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and a former interior minister, is in the lead with 39.3 per cent of the votes. Bazoum has vowed to strengthen the country’s fight against Islamist groups.
The second round of the election is to be held on February 21.
Niger has been a target for jihadist attacks for years, particularly in the western and southeastern parts of the country.
On December 21, six days before the presidential poll, seven soldiers were killed in Tillabéri. In May 2020, twenty people, including children, were also killed in two of the region’s villages.
Niger votes in presidential and legislative elections
People in Niger began voting in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Mohamed Bazoum, the right-hand man of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the favourite to win.
The sixty-year-old former interior minister is aiming for outright victory in the first round — something that no candidate has done before.
He’s focussing on security and education.
Over 7 million people are eligible to vote. But some voters, like Gambina Moumouni, simply want a president they can trust.
“We pray to Allah to choose us the president who has the most mercy for the people, a president who will not betray the country and who will not betray the trust of the people, that is our wish. It is also our wish that Allah may help to make the poor, the peasants, the (cattle) breeders happy.
Thirty candidates are standing including two former presidents and two former prime ministers, but according to seasoned observers in the region, the poll is arousing little enthusiasm among the population.
Niger is the world’s poorest according to the UN’s Human Development Index and also one of those hardest hit by climate change.
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