All schools and colleges in Wales are to be offered rapid coronavirus tests in the first programme of its kind in the UK, the Welsh government has said.
The 30-minute tests will be available from next month, at the start of the school day for students or staff who have been in close contact with an infected person and are at risk of transmitting Covid-19.
The scheme is the first countrywide testing programme for schools in the UK and follows the rollout of mass testing to several care homes and university students before the Christmas break:
Trucks hauling trailers loaded with suitcase–sized containers of Covid-19 vaccine rolled out of Pfizer’s manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Sunday – launching the largest and most complex vaccine distribution project in the US.
The long-wished for development comes against a backdrop of a raging pandemic that has killed almost 300,000 Americans amid a botched government response by the Trump administration that has made the US the worst-hit country in the world.
While progress on the vaccine is being celebrated across America, it also comes amid safety concerns and fears of anti-vaccination sentiments that might hinder the rollout. There are also worries over a potentially chaotic roll-out with local plans for vaccine distribution that vary widely, lack federal funding, and will not reach everyone even in early, limited populations.
But despite those concerns the sight of trucks loaded with vaccines finally hitting the road at last cheered a nation beleaguered by its suffering at the hands of the virus: