The petition to close schools, which was set up on March 6, has so far been signed 340,743 times. It comes as the UK is set to enter the next phase in the battle against Covid-19. The petition says: “We would like the Government or Parliament to enforce this action due to the growing fear among parents and students that attend school.
“The ability to focus or concentrate is affected in addition to the growing fears of the Coronavirus.
“In our view, the government and health officials around the world are more ‘reactive’ rather than ‘proactive’.
“This will result in more spread as time is given for the virus to do so. We hope to come to an agreement as soon as possible in a timely manner.”
All petitions on the Parliament website which get more than 10,000 signatures receive a Government response.
And petitions with the backing of 100,000 people are considered for a debate.
It comes as the Prime Minister will chair a Cobra meeting today where ministers are expected to agree to move into the “delay” stage.
The shift could see social distancing measures brought in, such as restricting public gatherings.
“The vast majority will have very mild illness and the clear focus right now is on doing everything we can to protect those who are more susceptible to serious illness, but we cannot make this go away, we need to focus on how we manage this outbreak, delay the spread and reduce the numbers infected at any one time.”
Leo Varadkar today announced that schools, colleges and childcare facilities in Ireland will close for two weeks.
In response, Downing Street defended the approach being taken by the Prime Minister and the authorities in Northern Ireland.
Asked whether Northern Ireland would now be treated differently from the rest of the UK in response to the Irish move, Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “We have been in regular dialogue with Irish counterparts.
“In terms of our own response, we have said that we want it to be a UK-wide response and we have been working with the four chief medical officers and devolved administrations.”
On Dublin’s different approach, the spokesman added: “We follow our own advice, they will do the same.”
In other coronavirus developments, a paramedic with the East of England Ambulance Service has tested positive for the deadly bug.
Meanwhile, new data suggests the NHS 111 system is coming under increasing pressure.
There were 1.6 million calls to NHS 111 in England in February, an average of 56,000 a day.
This is up from 1.4 million calls in February 2019, which was an average of 50,000 a day.
The FTSE 100 index of leading London-listed companies fell more than 5 percent in early trading following the World Health Organisation’s declaration of a pandemic.
And on Wednesday US President Donald Trump announced sweeping travel restrictions on 26 European countries.
Published at Thu, 12 Mar 2020 11:49:00 +0000