UCC professor says it's "guaranteed" a second wave of Covid-19 will come if we ease restrictions
He believes we could be facing repeated waves of the virus over the next four years.
A disease control expert has warned it is "guaranteed" a second wave of Covid-19 will come if the current restrictions are eased.
Professor Gerry Killeen, Research Chair in Applied Pathogen Ecology at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences in University College Cork, has said there will be repeated waves of Covid-19 over the next four years unless restrictions remain in place for now.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Killeen warned that it's not enough to flatten the curve of the virus, we have to crush the curve.
Killeen said the Irish response to the outbreak, and in particular to incoming travellers and asymptomatic cases, has been slow and half-hearted.
"There's no way to get to Phase Five without causing a second wave so then I'd ask the question, why would we embark on a journey that sooner or later is going to backfire on us?" Killeen said.
"Certainly, our existing restrictions should go on for longer but we're talking about months and we're talking about bringing it to an end point where the virus is eliminated from the country."
Killeen said that most experts agree this period would be between two and four months.
He argued that while the implications of doing this would be huge, the "implications of stretching this out over four years are even bigger".
The question that must be asked, he said, is "how much damage would be done of four years of easing restrictions and reimposing them again?"
Killeen said this is the reality the country is facing unless the virus is eliminated.
Meanwhile, some Irish politicians are calling for a reduction in the two metre social distancing guideline which they say will help certain industries recover.
Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Barry Cowen has called for clarity on the issue from the government.