Labour calls for next year’s exams to be delayed

Labour is calling for a delays in next year's exams - PA
Labour is calling for a delays in next year’s exams – PA
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter

Labour has called for next year’s A-level and GCSE exams in England to be pushed back in order to cope with the impact of the coronavirus crisis on pupils.

Shadow education secretary Kate Green said pupils entering Year 11 and 13 who have lost up to six months of teaching time face “a mountain to climb” unless the timetable is changed.

Ms Green said exams due next May need to be delayed until June or July to facilitate extra teaching time.

The shadow education secretary said: “Ministers had warning after warning about problems with this year’s exam results, but allowed it to descend into a fiasco.

“This is too important for Boris Johnson to leave until the last minute. Pupils heading back to school need clarity and certainty about the year ahead.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “”We recognise that students due to take exams next summer will have experienced disruption to their education, which is why we prioritised bringing Year 10 and Year 12 pupils back to school last term.

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11:13 PM

Utah State University’s wastewater showed elevated levels of coronavirus

A water quality scientist, conducts tests on a water sample - Reuters
A water quality scientist, conducts tests on a water sample – Reuters

Utah State University plans to test nearly 300 students for Covid-19 after wastewater samples from four dormitories showed elevated levels of the coronavirus.

The 287 students who will be tested on Monday live in dorms on the campus in Logan. There have been no reported positive tests for Covid-19 in those residence halls so far.

Students in those dorms must quarantine until the test results are available, which could take up to four days. They are also asked to fill out a form to ensure they receive academic support, food deliveries and other resources.

Classes are scheduled to begin today for about 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Utah State is one of a small handful of schools using wastewater sampling to help safeguard against a Covid-19 outbreak, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Officials with the University of Arizona said on Thursday that the school used wastewater testing to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak on campus.

A test of just over 300 people in one dorm with elevated levels of coronavirus in the wastewater turned up two cases, said university President Robert Robbins. Neither student had symptoms. They were isolated.

10:48 PM

US floats idea of early approval for eventual vaccine

The head of the US Food and Drug Administration raised the possibility in an interview published on Sunday that a future vaccine against the coronavirus might be given emergency approval before the end of trials designed to ensure its safety and effectiveness.

A request for such extraordinary approval would have to come from the vaccine developer, Stephen Hahn told the Financial Times.

“If they do that before the end of Phase Three,” which involves large-scale human testing, “we may find that appropriate. We may find that inappropriate, we will make a determination.”

But Hahn insisted he was not acting under pressure from President Donald Trump, who has been pushing hard for a vaccine, saying one might be ready before US elections on November 3.

“This is going to be a science, medicine, data decision,” Hahn said. “This is not going to be a political decision.”

Three Western drugs makers are well along with their Phase 3 clinical trials, involving tens of thousands of participants.

The three are AstraZeneca, which is partnering with Oxford University in England; Moderna, collaborating with the US National Institutes of Health, and the Pfizer/BioNTech alliance.

A man walks past a sign at an AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield - Reuters
A man walks past a sign at an AstraZeneca site in Macclesfield – Reuters

10:42 PM

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