A Cork doctor has pleaded with people to keep their distance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, warning that ‘if you’re off your head, you cannot keep your distance’.
Emergency medicine expert, Dr Chris Luke, said that there were ‘huge efforts to prepare the health service for any onslaught of cases’.
But all this work will be in vain if people continue to go out and socialise.
While Dr Luke praised the the majority of people, who are adhering to social distancing guidelines but said that ‘party animals are busy spreading the virus as we speak’.
“Others are still going out to parties, staggering around,” he said. “You cannot do the right thing when you are like this. If you’re off your head, you cannot keep your distance.
He said: “We need to stop person to person spread.
“You can’t do this if you are hugging and dancing and spraying spittle.”
Dr Luke said pubs should adhere to the guidelines and said that if a pub was later found to be at the epicentre of a cluster, it would ‘never be forgiven’.
The emergency medicine expert said the ‘upside’ to changing behaviour particularly around alcohol use would mean less people would have strokes, heart attacks, and accidents — all of which are linked with alcohol use.
It comes amid continued reports that some people are continuing to attend parties and that some pubs have been observed to be open.
Gardaí confirmed that they have visited, and continue to visit licensed premises, if they are observed open, ‘to remind businesses of their social responsibility to implement the guidelines issued by the Government and HSE to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on our community as a whole’.
The Government had asked licensed premises to close voluntarily.
In a statement, a spokesperson for An Garda Siochána said that “An Garda Síochána will consider any licensed premises’ non-compliance with Government requests during Annual Licensing applications to the District Court in 2020.”