Anxious parents ‘sinking Covid testing system by ordering swabs for kids who only have sniffles’


EXPERTS have told parents not to get virus tests for children with the sniffles.

They say a runny nose and sneezes are much more likely to be just a cold than Covid.

Snotty kids are more likely to have a cold than Covid, experts say

The number of children being screened has shot up by 150 per cent in the past month amid dire shortages of testing swabs.

And ministers warn the system is struggling to keep up with demand.

Professor Tim Spector, from King’s College London, called on parents not to get tests unless their children had a temperature, a cough or a loss of smell or taste.

He told the BBC: “Over the next few weeks, while the whole system is stretched and this major school cold outbreak goes, I think that is the sensible advice.

“So yes, by all means keep your kid at home.

“But don’t rush around the country trying to get a test for something that is highly likely to be a cold and not Covid.

“Many people are getting it wrong. If you do have a runny nose or sneezing, that is a sign you absolutely do not have Covid.” But Anne-Marie O’Leary, of Netmums, accused him of being patronising.

The Covid-19 testing system is ‘stretched’, medics reveal

Matt Hancock urged Brits to get tested only if they have coronavirus symptoms

She said: “Parents are following guidelines to the letter.

“No one is rushing around trying — in vain — to get coronavirus tests for ‘runny noses and sneezes’. Why would they waste their time?” There are fears thousands of children are stuck at home needlessly self-isolating. Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs: “It is incredibly important those with symptoms come forward, but those who do not have symptoms do not.”

Prof Carl Heneghan, of Oxford University, said a normal increase in coughs and colds was causing panic. He told the science and technology committee: “Keeping our children in school is important.”

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