Expert warns Ireland’s strategy with Covid-19 is not working

Expert warns Ireland’s strategy with Covid-19 is not working
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The country's strategy with Covid-19 is not working and we don't have control of the virus, according to an expert.

Professor Tomas Ryan, an associate professor at Trinity College, fears we could be in a situation in a couple of weeks where restrictions may need to be reimposed as cases continue to rise.

50 new cases of coronavirus were reported by the Department of Health last night.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: "Covid-19 is an extremely contagious virus and we have seen a significant increase in its spread across multiple counties over recent days. We are monitoring this very closely.

"Our focus over the coming weeks will be on continuing every effort to slow the spread of the virus so that our schools can reopen, our healthcare services resume, and our nursing homes are protected."

Prof Ryan says there needs to be a change in policy to stop the spread.

“What we’re doing is not working, and we need to think about making some changes,” he said.

“Clearly cases are still rising and it doesn’t feel like we have any control of this.

“Many of the cases that were identified were close contacts of previously confirmed cases.

“The problem is they were spreading the virus for at least a couple of days before that because our test, trace, isolation structure is still not fast enough.” 

The professor said that without change, Ireland could experience a situation like in Melbourne or Aberdeen The Australian state of Victoria is still in lockdown following a spike in coronavirus, while in Aberdeen people are being confined to within eight kilometres of their homes.

He added: “In a couple of weeks we could be in a situation quite similar to what happened in Melbourne or Aberdeen and no one wants to see that.” He said we will be dealing with bigger challenges when pubs and schools reopen.

“As winter comes and as flu season comes, we need a more robust system to be doing this.

“We cannot be just walking a tightrope. We need proper guard rails."

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