People must calculate risk of Christmas gatherings – WHO doctor

People must calculate risk of Christmas gatherings – WHO doctor

People gathering to celebrate Christmas need to act as their own “risk calculators”, the Irish doctor who is leading the world’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has said.

People need to think “where are the pinch points, the times when people come together and spend significant time in the same place,” Dr Mike Ryan said in response to questions from Irish journalists.

Maybe people could go for a walk after the Chrismas dinner rather than sitting around in a room with the windows closed watching TV.

“These are the small choices we make,” he said. “It really is about proximity, and duration, and location.”

Dr Ryan was taking part in an online press conference prior to being awarded the Bar of Ireland Human Rights Award later today.

The award ceremony, during which he is to make an address, will be live-streamed on the Bar of Ireland’s Twitter account from 4.30 pm on Thursday (@TheBarofIreland).

The executive director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the Government and the people of Ireland are having to balance the desire to celebrate Christmas with the need to contain the virus.

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“These are a series of trade-offs and genuine dilemmas, for which there are no correct scientific answers,” he said.

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