Infectious disease expert praises Ireland's response to Covid-19 outbreak

Infectious disease expert praises Ireland's response to Covid-19 outbreak
Prof McConkey pointed out that in China it was 64 days before restrictions were lifted. File picture.

Infectious disease specialist Professor Sam McConkey has said that nobody really knows how long the lockdown will last, but so far he thinks the country is doing a good job of stopping the spread of Covid-19.

Prof McConkey pointed out that in China it was 64 days before restrictions were lifted, but he asked if the level of social and physical distancing in Ireland was as good as that in China.

“They did a lot of things (in China) that we cannot,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

“The question is will our experience be similar?”

Prof McConkey said that Wuhan province in China was densely populated and the fact that in Ireland “we are more spread out” might make a difference. He warned that the spread of the virus depended on how people interacted and Irish culture is “very sociable.”

There will have to be major restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, Ireland will have to decide whether it wants to be virus free or virus restricted, he said.

The rate of spread of the virus has slowed down, he said. He had been alarmed three weeks ago, but now the country was managing the numbers. If the numbers are not maintained at this level then more measures will have to be taken to slow interaction.

He said: “So far we are doing a good job I think.”

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