A FAKE alert was sent to a number of college students in Cork claiming that coronavirus had been detected in their college accommodation complex.
The Students’ Union at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) revealed that an email containing false information was circulating in Parchment Square Accommodation regarding the virus Covid-19, which has killed thousands globally and infected more.
The CIT Students’ Union explained that the email is fake and that accommodation management confirmed Covid-19 had not been detected in the complex.
An investigation has been launched to discover who sent the email.
A post on the students’ union’s Facebook page explained:“CIT Students’ Union has received numerous queries regarding a fake email about the coronavirus circulating in Parchment Square Accommodation.
“I have contacted parchment Square management and they have confirmed that this is fake news. The coronavirus is not in Parchment Square and there are further investigations into who has sent the fake email.”
The fake alert at CIT comes after a Cork expert in emergency medicine and public health warned the overcrowded conditions in Cork emergency departments (EDs) will make preventing any potential coronavirus outbreak very difficult.
Dr Chris Luke, consultant in emergency medicine and adjunct senior lecturer in public health at University College Cork (UCC), was speaking to The Echo after almost 100 people were left on trolleys in Cork hospitals on Tuesday.
Dr Luke warned that such conditions would impact infection prevention and control measures in the event of a coronavirus (Covid-19) case, the illness which has killed thousands across the globe but it is yet to see a confirmed case in Ireland.
While Dr Luke said that staff in CUH and other Cork hospitals are well trained to deal with a coronavirus case or cases, he explained that overcrowded conditions in hospitals would make dealing with any potential outbreak very difficult. He highlighted the impact overcrowding had on the SARS epidemic in Toronto in 2003.
“The outbreak was made infinitely worse because a patient returned from Hong Kong and attended an ED in Toronto where people were on trolleys cheek by jowl.”