Professor Philip Nolan has denied that Nphet was “scaremongering” when it said on Thursday that there was “an immediate need to take care and caution” as the reproductive rate of Covid-19 in Ireland rose.
The Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group within Nphet, Prof Nolan said that every new case represents a risk to an individual and those around them.
“The numbers are the numbers.”
“Nothing that I have said is designed to scare people, it’s to keep the virus low in the population,” he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
This was the point at which there was a need to get across the message to use caution when going about one’s business.
Prof Nolan said he wanted to remind and encourage the public that they can resume some level of social and economic activity, but with caution.
Such actions were necessary if schools were to reopen in September which remained a priority.
The virus remains as contagious as it ever was.
It was time for everyone to show leadership.
“This is not the time to be a bystander. Use any opportunity to influence.”
The director of the National Virus Laboratory Dr Cillian De Gascun told Newstalk Breakfast that there was “a tendency for people to think we’re back to normal” now that the country was reopening.
However, he warned “we cannot go back to the way we acted in January.”
As the country reopens it has to be done is a controlled, safe manner, he said.
Individuals need to take responsibility. They need to think about the impact of the virus on their parents or grandparents or friends with compromised immune systems.
Dr De Gascun said he was imploring people not to travel overseas this summer.
He said he understands that people want to try to get back to some semblance of normality.
He hoped that there would not be a need for any restrictions at national level, that any reaction would be targeted and localised.