Dr Kingston Mills calls for three-week school break over lack of scientific evidence

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Dr Kingston Mills calls for three-week school break over lack of scientific evidence

Liam De Brun  20 hrs ago

Dr Kingston Mills does not see any scientific evidence to suggest COVID-19 can’t be easily transmitted in schools.

The Department of Education gave schools the green light to re-open on Thursday despite fears from teacher unions over rising COVID cases.

The coming days will not be ‘without challenges’ according to the Minister of Education but  ‘a child and student centred approach’ is what best serves students. a woman looking at
                      the camera: The Department of Education has said
                      that schools will reopen as planned after
                      receiving advice from health officials on Tuesday.
                      Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins.© Provided by Extra.ie The Department of Education has said that schools will reopen as planned after receiving advice from health officials on Tuesday. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

Dr Mills is unsure of the Department of Education’s assurances on schools based on scientific evidence.

‘The mantra that schools are a safe environment and there’s not transmissions in schools, I don’t know where that’s coming from because I can’t see the scientific evidence to suggest that a virus won’t transmit in a school and it somehow transmit in somebody’s home.

‘Not withstanding all the measures, Hepa filters and ventilations, this is a very transmissible virus. I know that when somebody is infected in a room it’s very difficult to stop other people getting infected,’ he told Philip Boucher-Hayes on RTE Radio One.a man wearing a suit
                      and tie: Dr Kingston Mills does not see any
                      scientific evidence to suggest COVID-19 can’t be
                      easily transmitted in schools. Pic: Virgin Media
                      Television© Provided by Extra.ie Dr Kingston Mills does not see any scientific evidence to suggest COVID-19 can’t be easily transmitted in schools. Pic: Virgin Media Television

While not declaring if he thinks school should or shouldn’t open, Dr Mills says ‘we should expect to see significant numbers of cases amongst primary school students and teachers’ in the coming weeks.

The current Omicron wave ‘is likely to peak in the next week or so’, as a result Dr Mills believes a three-week break from schools would be ‘sensible’ to allow the ‘worst of this peak to pass’.

‘If the numbers nationally decline in two or three weeks time then the general circulation in the population, including school children, their parents and their teachers will have declined, everything will be in a much better position.a person wearing a
                      blue jacket: In recent days, concerns have been
                      growing over children returning to schools in
                      Ireland. Photo: Getty.© Provided by Extra.ie In recent days, concerns have been growing over children returning to schools in Ireland. Photo: Getty.

‘Why not take a two of three week period in which to access things rather than rush back… I know that education is so important but we’ve had closures before in less severe circumstances than we have now.’

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation’s (INTO) General Secretary John Boyle revealed they were provided data which shows children are ‘not driving the pandemic’.

‘For the first time in a long time we got a huge amount of data which shows that children are not actually driving this pandemic, that it’s the age group between 16/19 up to 44. Within a week or two after that infection level happening after restriction are lifted, it drives down then into children,’ he said on Morning Ireland.

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