RTÉ’s Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers
On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, host Bryan Dobson spoke to RTÉs Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers about the latest Covid-19 developments.
In relation to the current movement restrictions which are set to be in place until May 5, Mr Bowers said:
“There’s no specific date in May, or otherwise, when restrictions will be lifted, or what restrictions will be lifted.
“We simply do not know so it is very uncertain at this point and people shouldn’t be expecting a lifting or a wide lifting of restrictions anytime in the near future I think, I’d say, given the briefings we had yesterday.
“And Covid-19 is going to be with us for the foreseeable future. I mean that means for the years ahead it will be there in the community somewhere, moving as influenza is but obviously Covid-19 poses a different threat, an unparalleled threat.
“And so social distancing will continue until a vaccine is available. And a vaccine won’t be available, certainly you would think, for a year or more.
“There may be some restrictions but only where the evidence points to that and also when the system has the capacity for rapid, speedy testing of people and follow-up contract tracing quickly, that’s crucial.
“So what will be looking at? We’ll be looking at, in order for any restrictions to be lifted, you’d want the infection rate out there to be down below one, so that’s where one person is infecting less than another person. So it’s not spreading in the community. You’d also want to see admissions to intensive care down.
“You’d want to think about what activity could be safely resumed, where social distancing can be exercised and what’s working in other countries. That will be crucial.”
Listen back in full here
Previously: Locking Down Our Civil Liberties