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  2. Coronavirus
18 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Lunchtime summary: The sniff test

By Samuel Horti

The government has added anosmia, or losing your sense of smell, to its official (and very short) list of coronavirus symptoms that warrant self-isolation. Anyone that loses their sense of smell or taste should stay at home for a week and get tested for the virus, updated guidance says.

Experts believe the move is long overdue. Professor Tim Spector of King’s College London, who warned that loss of smell was a “key symptom” of the virus a month and a half ago, said the government’s failure to expand its list of symptoms meant the UK is missing between 50,000 and 70,000 infections.

In other news, the European Union has called for an independent assessment of the World Health Organisation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, to “review experience gained and lessons learned”. The resolution will be debated this week.

And on schools, a study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that keeping schools closed could widen education inequalities between the richest and poorest groups.

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