Michael Staines
Michael Staines

12.51 16 Jul 2021


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Ireland’s response to the COVID pandemic has been “exemplary,” according to the European Commission President.

Speaking during a visit to Dublin this morning, Ursula von der Leyen said Ireland has put in “an excellent performance” in its response and vaccine rollout.

She travelled to Ireland as part of her Next Generation EU tour, which aims to promote a “green, digital recovery across Europe.”

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She used the opportunity to give the green light to the Government’s Recovery and Resilience Plan.

“I have looked at the numbers and the development over the last six months before coming here and Ireland is exemplary in the way it has approached this pandemic with all the difficulties we have faced together and we have overcome together,” she said.

“So, an excellent performance where the delivery of vaccines is concerned and the response of this country so here, I can only commend you.”


Asked whether Ireland’s reopening was too slow, she said each member state has a responsibility to move at its own speed.

“We have always said in Europe that we have common rules for, for example, travel but they have to be flexible insofar as you have to look at the specific epidemiological situation of a region,” she said.

“Therefore, I welcome that Ireland has joined our COVID Certificate. I just today had the opportunity to test it – it works fine.

“But all our member states and of course Ireland too have always the possibility and the responsibility to look at the individual regional epidemiological situation and then to adapt the approvals to that situation.”

Last night, just short of 1,000 new cases were reported, the highest figure since February 20th.

Meanwhile, there are now 80 coronavirus patients in Irish hospitals – up by almost one-third in a week.

Dr Mary Favier, NPHET member and COVID-19 adviser for the Irish College of GPs this morning told Newstalk that Ireland is still three or four weeks away from the peak of the Delta wave.


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