Tags: Coronavirus | coronavirus | ireland | stpatricks | parades

Virologist Calls on Ireland to Cancel St. Patrick's Day Parades Over Virus

the irish flag is waved during a st. patrick's day parade
A parade reveler proudly waves the flag of Ireland during the 53rd Scranton St.Patrick's Day Parade. (AP Photo / The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 March 2020 08:01 PM

Ireland should cancel its St. Patrick's Day parade plans now that cases of coronavirus are being reported there, a leading expert is saying. 

"If I were in their shoes I would say ‘we must postpone it’, it’s not the end of the world for one year,” English virologist John Oxford, a professor from Queen Mary, University of London, told RTÉ radio’s “Today with Seán O’Rourke” Show, reports The Irish Times.

"After all the Chinese postponed the Chinese New Year, which is immense," Oxford said. "They took it so seriously.”

The parade attracts tourists from around the world, which could increase the spread of the virus, said Oxford. Two cases of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, have been confirmed in Ireland. 

However, the Irish government is not advising "at this stage" that the celebratory parades should be canceled because of the disease's threat, Leo Varadkar, a government official said Tuesday afternoon during a press briefing. 

“But bear in mind that the St Patrick’s Day festival is two weeks away and a lot can happen between now and then," Varadkar said. "There will be new advice published later today or tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Google reported that its staff employees at Barrow Street in Dublin had been asked to work for a second day from home after an employee reported flu-like symptoms.

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Ireland should cancel its St. Patrick's Day parade plans now that cases of coronavirus are being reported there, a leading expert is saying. "If I were in their shoes I would say 'we must postpone it', it's not the end of the world for one year," English virologist John...
coronavirus, ireland, stpatricks, parades
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2020-01-03
Tuesday, 03 March 2020 08:01 PM
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