Deputy Chief Medical Officer says children play "a significant role" in spreading Covid-19 2 months ago

Deputy Chief Medical Officer says children play "a significant role" in spreading Covid-19

Measures like closing schools will not be as effective as they need to be unless they're combined with other steps.

27 more cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland on Thursday evening.

The government announced the closure of all schools, universities, and all public facilities in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The decision to close schools was made after the Department of Health was made aware of a number of new cases of Covid-19.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, warned the public on Friday, however, that closing the schools won't be as effective as it needs to be if parents don't encourage social distancing and avoid letting children mix unnecessarily with other children.

"From the data so far children are the group least affected by [Covid-19]," Glynn wrote on social media. "We can say that there is a very good chance your child will not be severely affected, even if exposed.

"However, children may play a significant role in spreading this virus. Parents should try and avoid arranging play dates for groups of young children at this early stage of the outbreak. If children continue to still mix with other children, the impact of our measures, like closing schools, will not be as effective as we need them to be.

"We know that people are struggling with the issue of childcare. However, it is strongly recommended that those who are asked to mind children during this time should NOT be older than age 75, or have a chronic disease, or be in an immunosuppressed state.

"Continue to spend time outdoors. The fresh air is good for kids, and for you as parents. But please do this as a family rather than meeting up in groups.

"At home, continue to follow your usual hand hygiene practices. Clean surfaces regularly with a detergent, disinfectant or disinfectant wipe; this includes counters, table-tops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets and toilet handles, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables."