'One chance to get this right': Call for people of Cork to unite in face of coronavirus threat 

'One chance to get this right': Call for people of Cork to unite in face of coronavirus threat 
Pic; Larry Cummins

THE people of Cork are being warned against complacency in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, with Cork City’s Lord Mayor, John Sheehan, saying: “We have one chance to get this right.”

It is literally “in our hands”, Dr Sheehan said.

“I know that Cork people will work together to keep everyone safe and I want to thank them for this incredible effort,” he said.

There were 126 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the country yesterday, bringing the total number of cases in Ireland to 683.

A total of 66 cases have been confirmed so far in Cork

Chief medical officer in the Department of Health, Dr Tony Holohan said: “Now is not the time for complacency.

“Every citizen who is practising social distancing, who is taking precautions to limit the spread of this virus, is doing their country a service.

“The Department of Health has issued outdoor social distancing guidelines for everyone to follow.

“While we encourage people to exercise outside and maintain a healthy lifestyle, social distancing measures will continue to be paramount.”

He urged people to take “personal responsibility” and to continue to adhere to social distancing measures.

He made the comments as gardaí confirmed to The Echo that they had been called to disperse a gathering of young people in Cork in recent days.

A Cork emergency medicine specialist has also issued warnings on socialising.

Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the restrictions being imposed are “absolutely necessary” to protect human life, and more may be needed if the spread of the virus continues.

“The question is really going to be if we are going to need to take additional measures in the weeks ahead, and we will have a better idea if that is going to be necessary at the end of the month,” said Mr Varadkar.

Dr Sheehan said Covid-19 knows no bounds, so unity in our response is “essential”.

“Unity can triumph over fear,” he said. “Unity means remembering to wash your hands as we’ve been taught, it’s disposing of tissues properly, it’s sneezing into your elbow when the tissues run out.

“Most poignantly with Mother’s Day this weekend, it’s getting your ‘smallies’ to facetime granny to keep her spirits up when really they want to run into her arms.”

Leaders across the city and county joined together to appeal to the public to continue to heed messages on social distancing, hand hygiene and other advice from the HSE.

An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive, Cork City Council and Cork County Council are working together through the Major Emergency Framework Structures

Meanwhile, HSE management thanked the people of Cork for their huge support.

“We have been overwhelmed not just by the response of our own staff, but of the wider public,” said chief officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Ger Reaney.

“It is very clear to us that all of Cork is behind us and we are in this together.”

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