Michael Staines
Michael Staines

21.50 15 Sep 2020


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Trinity Professor Tomás Ryan has warned that individual counties will have to take their own measures to drive back the virus in the coming months.

On The Hard Shoulder this evening, he said the Government’s new five-level ‘Living with COVID’ plan is a “very positive step in the right direction.”

He warned that, on its own, it will not address the rising cases around the country.

“This is not a strategy,” he said. “This doesn’t tell us how we are going to sort out the problem.

“The real problem is that cases are rising and it is not alarmist to say that cases are going to double in Dublin in less than two weeks’ time and then double again, at the rate we are going, less than two weeks’ after that – or faster.”

He said the new framework is a big improvement on the previous roadmap which he believes was too ambitious.

“We could never really hit levels four and five the way we wanted to and I think that distracted many of us from how we should be behaving,” he said.

“This new plan allows us to move in both directions in an agile way and a regional, localised way.”

Professor Ryan said the coronavirus response over the next six months will require “local community leadership.”

“Say, as a county, you want to get to Level One in time for Christmas,” he said.

“That is not going to happen on its own. Most of us are here in Level Two but cases are rising in most areas. So how do you move from Level one just by being in Level Two? It is not going to happen.

“What you need is better social distancing, better hygiene, better mask wearing but you also need to consider whether there are local restrictions that can be put in place to help you temporarily get cases down and get things under control.

“This needs to be guided nationally but the point is that each county should be in a position to improve its own living situation in this type of framework.”


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