Department of Health advises schools to “continue as normal”

By Oisín McGovern

The Department of Health has advised schools across the country to “continue their daily routine as normal” despite the risk of coronavirus.

A school in Glasnevin has been forced to close for 14 days after a student contracted COVID-19.

In a letter written by Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, the measure to close the school was described as “precautionary”.

He went on to say: “The most important action we can take to protect ourselves from Covid-19 is regular hand-washing and good cough/sneeze hygiene.”

Dr Holohan also urged the media to respect the confidentiality of the patient, stating:

“I want to reassure you that the Health Services priorities patient confidentiality in all cases. To this end we will not reveal the details other than the gender, general location, (east, west, north, south of Ireland) and the source of the infection. We have called, therefore, on the media to respect confidentiality. More than 80% of people who have contracted the virus have experienced it in a mild form and generally recover in of [sic] in 2-3 weeks, while 20% experience a more severe form of the disease, this tends to be associated with older age.”

The letter said that a person with Covid-19 passes it on to between 2-3 people, while a carrier of measles can pass the disease on to 14 other people.

Elsewhere, Sinn Féin has cancelled planned rallies in Cavan and Galway due to concerns about the virus.

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