Eight UK schools have been shut down for ‘deep cleaning’ and 18 more have sent pupils and staff into quarantine at home after half term ski trips to coronavirus-hit Italy.
Despite a plea from the Public Health of England to schools not to shutdown, five schools were reportedly shut today and three more closed yesterday taking the total to eight and at least 18 more have been sending students and teachers into self-isolation after they came back with flu-like symptoms or chesty coughs.
A statement from Public Health England reads:
”Our general advice is not to close schools.
What we are clear about is if you have been in the area of northern Italy of concern and you have symptoms – it is a cough, shortness of breath or fever – then you do need to self-isolate, you need to phone NHS 111 and await advice for further assessment or testing”
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One primary school in Essex is closed as a precaution today because a teacher was in Italy over half term, but it wasn’t reported if she has been diagnosed with the virus or not.
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said schools could be shut en masse if coronavirus gets out of control in Britain.
Prof Whitty said:
‘There’s no secret there’s a variety of things you need to look at, you look at things like school closures, you look at things like reducing transport.’
Italy is one of the countries in the World struggling to contain the spread of coronavirus with 11 dead and 322 confirmed sick.
According to Mail Online, a ‘worst case’ Government report have predicted that 80 percent of Britons could catch the virus and 500,000 may die.