Vulnerable and older people urged to stay at home by Dr Tony Holohan as Covid-19 hits first wave level

People with heart disease, obesity, diabetes, respiratory illness and cancer put on alert

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


Dr Tony Holohan coronavirus covid-19

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health in Ireland

Older people and those who are vulnerable to infection have been urged to stay at home unless it is absolutely essential, according to Dr Tony Holohan.

These people were ordered to stay at home during the first wave in March and April and Ireland's Chief Medical Officer has pleaded with the public to do the same now because the virus has returned its peak rate of infections when widespread transmission led to many deaths in March and April.

“It is really important that vulnerable and older people do not leave their homes unless absolutely essential. This includes asking neighbours or family to carry out errands such as grocery shopping, limiting all contacts to only those people you live with or have to visit for essential care reasons. 

“We need to rediscover the spirit of solidarity and community we saw in March and April so that we can all do our part in protecting older and vulnerable people," said the head of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

NPHET has published a table  (SEE END OF STORY) which shows which groups are most vulnerable. Dr Holohan highlighted who is at risk in his daily statement on January 2.

“People particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 include older persons and people with pre-existing medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer,” he said.

Dr Holohan had a message for everybody because of the strain the third wave is putting on the health service.

“The incidence of COVID-19 is as high, if not higher now than it was in March. Every individual needs to act as if they are infectious. Hospitalisations are rising to levels close to what we saw in the springtime. Everyone needs to stay at home other than for essential work or care," he said.

The National Public Health Emergency Team has published a table which shows which groups are most vulnerable.