‘We will have a plan’ – NPHET meets to discuss COVID-19 restrictions
There’s a long road ahead.
The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet this morning to present recommendations on how Ireland can begin to reopen businesses in the coming months.
Later today, the Cabinet will meet to discuss a roadmap for easing restrictions, although it is unlikely that any major changes will be made to the current rules for now. According to reports, the restrictions will be adjusted in two or three-week cycles after the next deadline expires on May 5th.
Another 359 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed last night. 222 of these cases were reported in nursing homes. More than 1,000 people with symptoms of the disease are currently in hospital in Ireland, 100 of these are in Intensive Care Units.
In a tweet this morning, Health Minister Simon Harris confirmed there would be an announcement today:
“We will have a plan later on on how to gradually reopen our country. The pace at which we implement the plan is crucial if we are to succeed. We can only act when safe to do so. Anything else would result in more lost lives, many more sick people & a plan which could not succeed,”
We will have a plan later on on how to gradually reopen our country. The pace at which we implement the plan is crucial if we are to succeed. We can only act when safe to do so. Anything else would result in more lost lives, many more sick people & a plan which could not succeed
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) May 1, 2020
Minister Harris added: “People have made so many sacrifices to save lives & keep their families & communities safe. It is a really tough time for all but we must continue to do all we can to keep each other safe,”
‘We could run into difficulties sooner’
Speaking to the media yesterday, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said we still have some way to go before he feels it’s safe to loosen restrictions on work and movement: “I don’t see the kind of circumstances that will allow us – certainly today – to think we’ll be in a position to recommend an easing of restrictions.” he said.
“If we were to ease restrictions at this moment in time today, we could potentially find that we would run into difficulties sooner, if we were to see an increase in ICU admissions,” added Dr Holohan.
Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar shared the factors he is considering while the plan for restarting the economy is being finalised: “Our five criteria are as follows: the progress of the disease, healthcare capacity and resilience, testing and contact tracing capacity, the ability to shield and care for at-risk groups, and the risk of secondary morbidity and mortality due to the restrictions themselves.” he said.