Ireland’s lockdown is expected to be extended for another two weeks beyond next Tuesday 5th May as efforts continue to slow the spread of Covid-19.
The Cabinet is meeting today to sign-off on a roadmap for the gradual lifting of restrictions, but those measures are not expected to be introduced for another fortnight.
Any easing of restrictions from Tuesday is expected to be minimal.
The National Public Health Emergency Team will advise the government today on the next steps of Ireland’s response to the pandemic.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has been asked to consider allowing elderly people to leave their ‘cocoons’ once a day for exercise, but it has not been confirmed if this will be implemented.
Ahead of the NPHET meeting, Minister for Health Simon Harris tweeted: “We will have a plan later on on how to gradually reopen our country. The pace at which we implement the plan is crucial if we are to succeed. We can only act when safe to do so. Anything else would result in more lost lives, many more sick people and a plan which could not succeed.”
National Public Health Emergency Team will meet shortly to consider its view on #Covid19. People have made so many sacrifices to save lives & keep their families & communities safe. It is a really tough time for all but we must continue to do all we can to keep each other safe
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) May 1, 2020
Dr Holohan said the number of hospital admissions is still too high, as 43 more deaths and 359 new cases of the virus were announced last night.
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “We should look back to the pattern of the epidemic at the beginning of March. Within 10 days we went from 50 people in ICU to 140 people in ICU. Currently, there are 106 patients in ICU. If a similar surge occurred on top of our current ICU figure, we would find it very difficult to manage the treatment of patients. This reflects the sensitivity required in relaxing restrictions.”
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will be a guest on The Late Late Show this Friday night to discuss the latest developments.