Professor Ivan Perry, Dean of Public Health at University College Cork, who is a member of the Zero Covid Island group has said that Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s comments toregarding a zero Covid strategy being a “permanent lockdown” were a misinterpretation of the approach to curbing the virus.
Mr Martin stands by the Government’s decision to continue living with Covid and said he believes a zero Covid approach would mean that, “as soon as Ireland comes out of it you’re back open to the potential of the disease coming back in again because of our geography.”
He added: “We’re going for prolonged suppression of the virus now. We have vaccines now which will help to give us choices in time.”
However, Prof Perry said: “The whole point is to set a clear policy of aggressive suppression of the virus with a target of zero. The reality is living with the virus is going to leave us in lockdown or near lockdown or yo-yoing for a much longer time than a zero Covid strategy.”
The UCC professor said the country is currently at 1,000 cases a day and another 6-8 weeks would get that down to single figures.