Covid-19: Half of Ireland moving in the wrong direction, expert warns

Covid-19: Half of Ireland moving in the wrong direction, expert warns

Professor Sam McConkey says that Ireland needs tio change its behaviour, to reverse the likelihood of further local lockdowns.

Half of Ireland is moving in the wrong direction as regards the outbreak of Covid-19. 

That's according to infectious diseases expert, Professor Sam McConkey, who said the country needed to change how it behaves to reverse that trend. 

Speaking on Newstalk this morning, Prof McConkey said that strict controls, like those announced for Donegal last night, were the way to get cases down. He said, repeating his comment that Covid was like living with a tiger, that it would “come back to bite us” as there was no “living with it.” 

The term ‘lockdown’ was too binary, he added. 

He said: "The situation in Dublin and Donegal was not the same as it had been back in March. 

Professor Sam McConkey, RCSI
Professor Sam McConkey, RCSI

"Schools were open, yes there were escalating restrictions, but staying at home “was not a confusing piece of advice.” 

He warned that there was no ‘herd immunity’ for young people and that in Ireland young people had many interactions with the elderly and the idea of keeping them separate was not possible.

However, he said he was convinced that “we can definitely do this, we just need to do it together.

Prof McConkey also called on the Government to consider giving modern mobile phones to the vulnerable so they can download the Covid tracker app.

He said that it was clear that "the current app was not adequate," ]as only 1.9m people had downloaded it.

It has since been reported that due to issues like battery consumption, thousands of people uninstalled the app

Prof McConkey: “People do not have modern enough phones, give them phones that are good enough, expand it more.” 

He said that he hoped that the app could be updated so that more people could access it.

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