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Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Sam Boal via Dr Tony Holohan
# Covid-19
Tony Holohan says media and others tried to 'oversimplify' pandemic response
Holohan said there was no “silver bullet” that could have stopped the pandemic.

FORMER CHIEF MEDICAL Officer (CMO) Tony Holohan has said that the media and others tried to “oversimplify” Covid-19, but that “no pandemic plan” that could have prepared the country for the crisis.

Speaking today at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) Medical Professionalism Conference, Holohan said that the “seductively simple solutions” proposed throughout the pandemic served to “rush simple answers to complicated and complex questions”.

“We would all have loved to find the silver bullet which would allow us to return to how things were, avoiding the health and wider impacts that came from the illness itself”, he said.

“But the reality is far more complex.”

Holohan also said that the Covid-19 “exploited upstream weaknesses in planning and in operational responses to health emergencies” around the world.

“There was no pandemic plan that could have predicted what we’ve witnessed over the last two or more years.

“Neither could we find solutions through pre-existing and well-established rational decision making procedures.

“It is no wonder that different countries and regions came up with different approaches, and we have seen different public health outcomes as a result.”

Holohan served as CMO from 2008 until he retired in 2022.

Mandatory mask wearing in hospitals ended on 19 April.

When asked what he thought of this development, Holohan said: “I have great confidence in the people making those decisions.”

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