Christian Drosten, director of the Charité Institute of Virology in Germany made the shock claim as the globe prepares to limber up for a new stage of tackling the deadly disease. Under new plans announced in various countries, schools are set to close their doors for weeks to stop the virus from spreading. This could leave thousands of children stranded at home to protect them from contraction and transmission.
But many have expressed concerns about childcare arrangements, particularly if parents are at work.
Mr Drosten, however, warned it would be unwise to leave children with their retired elderly grandparents.
This is because it is this demographic who are more likely to be susceptible to the serious consequences of coronavirus.
And it could be months until it is sensible to do so.
He said: “Especially in those over 65, the case mortality rate is increasing rapidly.
“We really need to protect the population beyond retirement age.
“From now until September or October, children should no longer be taken care of by grandma or grandpa.”
Mr Dronten instead suggested the importance be placed on younger generations undertaking shopping duties for the elderly so they did not have to leave their homes.
So far, there has not been a countrywide decree on closing schools in Germany.
However, one school in the city of Worms was shut down after a student tested positive for coronavirus.
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The complex, which educates approximately 4,500 students, was closed, and the classmates of the student are now being examined by the health department.
Currently, there have been 1,966 cases of coronavirus recorded in Germany.
At the time of writing, three deaths were confirmed in the country.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed concern about the spread of the disease, warning that up to 70 percent of Germany could become infected.
The country’s focus, she said, would focus on slowing down the spread of the virus.
This is because the coronavirus currently has no cure, with progress towards a vaccine still slow.
The European CDC has said containing coronavirus is no longer feasible.
It has recommended suspending mass gatherings, implementing social distancing measures at workplaces, and school closures.
A statement added: “In a few weeks or even days, it is likely that similar situations to those seen in China and Italy may be seen in other EU/EEA countries or the UK.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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