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'We've shown this can be controlled': Health officials say second wave not 'inevitable'

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control chief suggested that a second wave was highly likely.

A jogger running along a quiet sea front in Dublin.
A jogger running along a quiet sea front in Dublin.
Image: RollingNews.ie

DEPUTY CHIEF MEDICAL Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, has said that he would hope that if Ireland faced a second wave of Covid-19 “we know what measures to take”. 

Glynn, speaking at the Department of Health briefing this evening, was responding to comments from the Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Dr Andrea Ammon, who told The Guardian that a second wave of infections looked very likely. 

“The question is when and how big, that is the question in my view,” she told the paper. “Looking at the characteristics of the virus, looking at what now emerges from the different countries in terms of population immunity – which isn’t all that exciting, between 2% and 14%, that leaves still 85% to 90% of the population susceptible – the virus is around us, circulating much more than January and February.”

“I don’t want to draw a doomsday picture but I think we have to be realistic. That it’s not the time now to completely relax,” she said. 

Responding to the comments, Glynn said: “I think ‘inevitable’ is a very strong word. We’ve shown, here in Ireland, through the actions of the population, and numerous countries have shown across Europe, that this can be controlled, it can be brought under control.”

Across Europe, most countries have announced some kind of an easing of restrictions as the peak of the virus passes. 

This evening, it was confirmed that a further 11 people have died from Covid-19 in Ireland, while a further 64 cases of the virus were confirmed. 

The death toll from Covid-19 in Ireland is 1,571.

“There’s no doubt we have to live with this virus for the foreseeable future. We don’t have a vaccine, we don’t have a treatment and we have only one type of test as things currently stand,” Glynn said. 

“It is a challenge but we have seen that the measures we’ve taken can control it. I wouldn’t like a message to go out that there’s nothing we can do as a population to control this.”

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“I would be hopeful, given our experience to date, that if things do go in the wrong direction, that we know what measures to take,” he said. 

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