The warning came from Dr Mark McDonald, who presented a study conducted by Brown University. It noted that “children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor and overall cognitive performance compared to children born before the pandemic”. According to the expert, masks, lockdowns and online classes have led to “general deprivation of social contact and inability to see faces, resulting in neurodevelopmental disorders in young people”.
This view is supported by Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University.
Appearing during NTD’s ‘The Nation Speaks,’ he said there is a body of evidence that suggests that the restrictions of the pandemic and the “fear to which we subject children” have led to increased psychological disorders.
And he concluded in his own study that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, eight out of 10 children and adolescents report either worsening behavior, psychological symptoms, or increased negative feelings”.
The study states: “School closures contributed to an increase in anxiety, loneliness, and stress; negative feelings due to COVID-19 were proportional to the length of the school closure.”
Prof Heneghan added: “The first thing we need to do is defuse all the fear and anxiety that Covid generates in children.
“For children, [Covid] is actually a risk-free disease.”
The expert claimed that “closing areas like schools was a mistake,” because keeping schools open boosts “education, social connectivity, and well-being”.
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out the possibility of a new lockdown for this year.
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The rise in cases, sparked by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, also coincides with an increase in the number of patients in hospital who have tested positive for coronavirus.
A further 57 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
More than 90 percent of cases in England and approximately 80 percent of cases in Scotland are now the Omicron variant.
The total number of people in hospital with Omicron is said to be 8,246.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.