Dr Nuala O’Connor, the Irish College of General Practitioner’s lead on Covid-19, has called on the Government to ensure that anyone who has to stop work because of the virus will still be paid.
Only rapid identification of contacts and testing can contain the spread of the virus, she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
Asymptomatic cases were of particular concern, she said with people “going about” when they did not know if they had the virus.
Even when tested and there was a negative result, they should continue to isolate themselves for 14 days, she said.
Day Zero testing and Day Seven testing was very important and people needed to stay out of work, she added.
Dr O’Connor urged people with even mild symptoms to telephone their GP who could then refer them for a test.
Symptoms included shortness of breath, a cough, loss of sense of taste or smell.
“This is a wakeup call for all of us – there are cases in 20 counties, the virus is still out there, if you have symptoms take yourself out of circulation and contact your GP.
“Covid-19 has not gone away. We all need to be vigilant.” Dr O’Connor urged anyone experiencing any symptoms not to go to work or if it was a child, not to send them to creche.
“This virus is accelerating worldwide, so far we have managed to flatten the curve, but there has been a small increase in cases, the numbers are small, but they are still a cause for concern.
"We don’t want sustained community transmission to continue.”
People should continue to exercise social distancing and keep their distance, she advised.