NPHET doctor warns that "if we release restrictions too quickly, this will kick off again" 6 months ago

NPHET doctor warns that "if we release restrictions too quickly, this will kick off again"

"People have done so well and we don't want to undo all of that good work for the sake of a couple of weeks."

Dr. Cillian de Gascún, chair of the National Public Health Emergency Team Expert (NPHET) Advisory Group, has warned of the dangers of easing Covid-19 restrictions too quickly.

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Speaking on Virgin Media's Tonight Show on Monday, the virology expert said it's possible that "96% of the population are still susceptible to the virus".

Asked by host Matt Cooper what lessons Ireland had learned from countries such as New Zealand, where spread of the virus is currently "eliminated", de Gascún said: "If we release the restrictions too quickly, this will kick off again."

"Nothing we do on Tuesday is going to make anybody any safer. Whatever we do, if we can do anything, it will have to be slow, it will have to be phased and it will have to be very controlled.

"People have done so well and we don't want to undo all of that good work for the sake of a couple of weeks."

Additionally, Dr. de Gascún noted that we are "12-18 months away from a vaccine" and that "we don't have any anti-viral therapy".

Gardaí relaunched Operation Fanacht at 7am this morning (28 April) in anticipation of movement around the coming May Bank Holiday.

The government is set to update the public as to the status to containment measures on 5 May.

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Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Department of the Taoiseach acknowledged anecdotal evidence that people are becoming "very fed up" with the containment measures, which include the closure of all non-essential businesses, and the a ban on travelling further than 2km from one's home for non-essential purposes.

As of 27 April, the Republic of Ireland has suffered 1,102 official deaths as a result of Covid-19, and an official tally of 19,648 confirmed cases - over a quarter of which are healthcare workers.