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Opinion poll shows 43% of people think the worst of the coronavirus crisis is over

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan said he is ‘hopeful’ that restrictions will be lifted in line with Phase One of the Roadmap, next week.

The NPHET team arriving at tonight's briefing.
The NPHET team arriving at tonight's briefing.
Image: LEAH FARRELL; RollingNews.ie

A SURVEY CARRIED out on behalf of the Department of Health has suggested that more than 40% of people believe the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak in Ireland is over. 

The Department has commissioned twice weekly opinion polls of members of the public around the public health guidelines over the past number of weeks.

A poll of 1,270 people today indicated that some 43% of people believe that the worst of the Covid-19 crisis in Ireland is over, giving cause for concern among member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). 

Meanwhile, 29% of people think the worst is happening now, while 17% of people think it’s coming down the line. 

“We’re asking people ‘do you feel the worst of this coronavirus is ahead of us, behind us, or happening now?’ and we see… 43% of people now believe that the worst of this is behind us,” CMO Dr Tony Holohan said speaking at the Department briefing this evening. 

“So we think there is still a challenge for us in getting the message out, in the risk of what people might call a second spike but an increase in cases that causes a challenge for us first of all in terms of public health.

“But also in terms of the impact on the healthcare system, and quite quickly, if [..] we get it wrong as we step out of the restrictions we have – 43% is quite a high percentage of people who believe this is over and the work is done here, so that’s a little cause for concern.”

008 Dept of Health Source: LEAH FARRELL; RollingNews.ie

The Government, on the advice of NPHET, is one week away from beginning the first phase of easing current lockdown restrictions.

Holohan indicated he is hopeful those restrictions can still be lifted on a phased basis over the coming weeks and months. 

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“I’m simply making the point that if we get it wrong as we begin to ease restrictions – and I hope that we’re moving towards a point in which we will be able to do that – and we see the reproductive number rising to a level which is beyond what we think we can deal with… we could have a significant challenge with this that’s every bit as great.

“Today isn’t the day we’re going to be making the assessment, we’ll do that over the course of the week, and towards the end of the week we’ll arrive at an assessment and we’ll make that advice available to Government. 

“But I would say at this stage, we think and we’re hopeful that we’ll be in a position to make a positive recommendation in relation to those restrictions.”

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