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Health expert suggests restrictions in Ireland should be extended between eight and 12 weeks

DUBLIN: Prof. Sam McConkey, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, says between eight and 12 weeks of restrictions may be required to control the spread of COVID-19.

He said the current outbreak is worse than it was back in March 2020. Prof. McConkey said that hospitals would be converted back into emergency coping centres to care for as many people as possible.

Taoiseach advises to avoid unnecessary travel even if distance limit is not reduced

Reducing the 5 km travel limit to 2 km may not be on the agenda of today’s subcommittee meeting. However, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin asked the people to stay at home. “That is the way we protect our hospitals. That is the way we protect the most vulnerable in our society,” he said.

The Taoiseach said the target was to vaccinate 135,000 people by the end of February. 35,000 doses will be given this week alone. This includes 75,000 people and their staff in long-term care facilities, and more than 60,000 leading health workers. “This relates to the supplies that we can be assured of from Pfizer/BioNtech,” Mr. Martin said.

He denied allegations that the vaccination program was slow. The Taoiseach said he expects “that private hospital capacity will have to be used and drawn upon on this occasion”. HSE is preparing to sign contracts with private hospitals.

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