School closures UK: Dr. Hilary advises against extreme coronavirus plan

Good Morning Britain was delivering the latest coronavirus UK news this morning and joining Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid in the ITV studio was resident doctor Hilary Jones to discuss whether or not the nation should be shutting down schools to protect the spread of the illness. 

Journalist Sarah Vine kicked off the discussion saying: “Several children have this virus mildly, many have it and probably don’t realise. To pull them out of school you risk infecting the older members of society who are at serious risk. 

“There is no evidence they [the children] will gather amongst themselves, there’s also a lot of pressure on families. 

“Secondly, if you take children out of school, parents won’t be able to work. There are a lot of key workers who we need in this crisis,” she continued. 

Ateh Jewel disagreed: “It’s disgraceful, we [the nation] are being so slow and behind the crisis, we need to take all responsibility to self isolate.” 

Dr. Hilary was then brought into the conversation and explained why he thought schools didn’t need to shut down just yet. 

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“The time to close schools is when we get a hotspot where we know there’s a lot of the virus and a lot of infections and it would be sensible to close schools in that particular area. But when we stop testing, we don’t know where those hotspots are.”

“As Sarah said, all the reasons are very valid. The opposite argument we should lock everybody away now, is counterproductive. Because how long do you lock them down for?” 

“As long as it takes!” Piers interjected as Dr Hilary repeated: “As long as it takes, but then how long does it take for a pandemic to peter out?

“It could take a year, two years,” the medical expert continued but Piers added: “If you look at China, they’re now coming out of it, to the extent of Apple for example, has just opened all its stores in China again but closed them everywhere else.

“We have a timescale in China of about four months.” 

“It’s early days, I think we need to see what happens in China, there could be a second wave because people are coming out again and getting fed up with being enclosed and incarcerated,” Dr Hilary explained. 

“And the virus is undoubtedly still out there.” 

“Hilary, let’s think about us getting fed up, you know what, if that’s what it takes, stop squealing and moaning, and just suck it up. Like our previous generations had to do in war time,” Piers raged. 

“The idea for four months we can’t just stay at home and watch TV, really? Really? We can’t bring ourselves to do that?” 

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“It’s not four months!” Hilary stated and Piers asked: “How do you know?” 

“Four months is when we expect the peak, the peak is not going to suddenly after a month, it’s going to go on for several weeks after that. Four months, it becomes eight months. 

“There is never going to be a ‘safe time’ to come out of your lockdown again, it’ll be safer.” 

Those watching at home took to Twitter, furious with Piers interrupting Dr. Hilary. 

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One said: “#gmb i watch your programme every morning and love Piers on it. However, this morning was disgraceful – interrupting & disrespectful towards Doctor Hilary. No wonder the politicians won’t come on.” 

“Can we please have Dr Hilary Jones on every morning to give us medical facts and to calm us all down  #GMB #COVID19,” another added. 

Someone else commented: “Dr Hilary Jones & @susannareid100 totally taking down a flappy @piersmorgan on #GMB He’s just shouting now as the rug gets pulled from his argument #coronvirusuk #keepcalmandcarryon.” 

“Dr Hilary, the voice of reason have always trusted him and his advice and always will #gmb,” a viewer wrote. 

Dr. Hilary’s advice was clear, he told Lorraine viewers: “I understand there is a lot of anxiety and mixed messages. People are concerned but we need calm minds and clarity on this. Trust the people in charge.” 

Good Morning Britain airs weekday mornings at 6am on ITV. 

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