'Three crucial weeks ahead' in Covid-19 battle says Ireland's Chief Medical Officer

More than half of people believe the worst is yet to come

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

coronavirus covid-19

Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan

The next three weeks in Ireland's fight against the coronavirus will be 'crucial', according to the doctor who is leading the campaign to control the spread of Covid-19 and limit the number of Irish lives it claims.

Speaking on the day when Ireland's confirmed cases passed the 10,000 mark Dr Tony Holohan also revealed that just over half of Irish people believe the worst of the Coronavirus has yet to impact Ireland.

Research by Amarach conducted on behalf of the Department of Health also shows that the percentage of the population who feel we are experiencing the worst of the pandemic right now has risen strongly from 11% on 16 March to 37% today, though 55% feel the worst is still ahead of us.

Urging people to stick with the restrictions, Dr Holohan said the time between Easter and the proposed ending of the lockdown will be crucial. 

“The number of community cases of COVID-19 shows why we continue to need the public health measures that we currently have in place. I understand that the current restrictions are tough, especially during a bank holiday weekend when in normal circumstances most of us would have met up with family and friends but I ask that the public continue to work with us and follow the guidelines that are in place.

“The number of community cases of COVID-19 shows why we continue to need the public health measures that we currently have in place. I understand that the current restrictions are tough, especially during a bank holiday weekend when in normal circumstances most of us would have met up with family and friends but I ask that the public continue to work with us and follow the guidelines that are in place.

“The next three weeks will prove crucial to Ireland’s COVID-19 story and by working together we give ourselves the best chance to slow the spread and save lives,” he said.

The nationally representative online survey of 1,270 adults conducted on Easter Monday reveals:

·        The percentage of people behaving safely continues to rise for behaviours such as washing hands (94%) and using sanitizer (81%), but has fallen for sitting apart from others (59%) possibly reflecting more time spent at home

·        The vast majority are staying at home rather than going out: up from 78% on 16 March to 90% currently

·        While a significant proportion of the population reported feelings of worry (43%) and anxiety (38%), a similar proportion reported feelings of enjoyment (46%) and happiness (36%) in today’s survey.