Anthony Staines, Professor of Health Systems at the School of Nursing and Human Sciences in DCU, has said that strong suppression of Covid-19 needs to be maintained and that it might be too early to consider opening up the country.
The number of cases of the virus were coming down very slowly and it was going to be challenging as the country was still uncertain how the virus was being contained, he told Newstalk Breakfast.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) was not being unreasonable to express concern about what would happen if the country opened up, he added.
He said Ireland was now a year into a pandemic which was being battled with the same workforce. Other countries that had been successful in suppressing the virus had increased public health services and used aggressive contact tracing. “We’re not doing any of these things,” said Professor Staines.
Prof Staines said two-day contact tracing had been “an utter waste of time” which missed transmission patterns and identification of contacts.
It meant it was very difficult to see where cases had come from, he said.
The country was going to count the economic cost of the virus he said while people continued to get sick which meant there was a strong case for controlling and suppressing numbers.
“Strong suppression is the name of the game,” said the DCU professor.