The situation is being monitored.
Cork City Council has announced that it is continuing its preparations for the Cork St Patrick’s Day Festival this year, despite widespread concern about the spread of coronavirus in Ireland.
As it stands, the annual event will still take place from Friday, March 13th until the parade on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020.
However, a statement released this afternoon suggests that plans may change:
“Our absolute priority is the health and safety of those in attendance. Therefore as the international coronavirus (COVID -19) outbreak is evolving rapidly, we will await the guidance of the expert subgroup which has been set up by National Public Health Emergency Team to develop criteria for the risk assessment of mass gatherings.
“If there is any change in our position, updates will be issued.”
WHO: ‘Hand hygiene is key’
According to World Health Organisation advice, event organisers in collaboration with public health authorities “may wish to consider whether specific information or advice is needed about the potential risks that persons already at increased risk of severe disease might face in the setting of a mass gathering, especially if the COVID-19 virus is circulating in the community.”
“Promoting appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette in mass gathering venues requires providing informational materials that reach a range of age groups and varying reading and educational levels.” the WHO advises.
“In addition, soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers and tissues should be easily accessible in all common areas, and especially at medical treatment sites at the event.
“People who become ill while at the event should be isolated.”