It doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly left the question of another lockdown open-ended during his appearance on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Wednesday.
Asked if we could expect another lockdown, Donnelly said: “Nobody can answer that question right now.” While Donnelly contended that we’re not at the point of lockdown just yet, he did concede that ICU cases could eventually soar as high as 450 people if things to do not change.
Donnelly appeared on the programme following yesterday’s announcement that several restrictions were being reintroduced in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, including the closure of all hospitality by midnight, new rules around self-isolation for close contacts, and expansion of the Covid pass system to include trips to the cinema, and subsidised antigen tests in some cases.
Pushed on the matter of making antigen free, Donnelly claimed that the government of the United Kingdom has been “criticised in Parliament” for doing so, and speculated that if they were free that people might use them incorrectly.
On boosters, Donnelly said that “most of the vulnerable groups have been done, they’ve just been done under the radar.”
The Department of Health confirmed 4,407 new cases of the virus yesterday, including 114 people receiving intensive care in hospital. 4,570 cases had been announced on Monday.