Global deaths hit 150,000; China under scrutiny after Wuhan death toll doubles; ‘Immune’ crew to man Ruby Princess back to US

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth has told Today it is safe for children to attend school.

“We’ve had a very clear message that this is a virus, for whatever reason, is a virus more readily transmits between adults than it does from child to child or from child to adult,” he said.

“That is now just a fact and that is a fact that we should be developing policy on that and the policy is that schools should reopen and that children should be in the classroom.”

Sydney GP Dr Penny Adams said while face-to-face learning is important for children and parents alike, re-opening schools should be done with caution.

“I think it’s reasonable for parents to be concerned. The best way to deal with fear and anxiety is with information and rational planning,” she told Today.

“I think our kids do need to get back to school but they need to be back to school but they need to be back to school in the safest possible way.”

Dr Adams said schools must follow social distancing guidelines as strictly as the rest of the country in order to stop outbreaks from occurring. “Number one, I would say make sure everybody gets a flu shot if you are over six months. We don’t want influenza at the same time as coronavirus,” she said.

“Then we need to have those plans in place for student-to-student interaction for parent-to-teacher interaction, in particular drop-offs and pick-ups.”

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