Public health measures will still be in place at end of year, says Deputy CMO 

Public health measures will still be in place at end of year, says Deputy CMO 

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, pictured this evening (Monday 1st March) at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health. Some public health measures will still be in place at the end of the year, Ireland's deputy chief medical officer has said.Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Some public health measures will still be in place at the end of the year, Ireland's deputy chief medical officer has said.

Public health doctors hope 80 per cent of the population will have had one dose of Covid-19 vaccine by the end of June.

However, Dr Ronan Glynn envisaged some precautions to hamper the spread of coronavirus continuing.

He said: "I think there will be some element of public health measures still in place but I would hope that will be an environment which is far closer to what we have understood as normal in 2019 than what we are living in today."

He said Ireland had one of the strongest levels of vaccine confidence in Europe.

"Hopefully up to 80% of the adult population will have received a dose by the end of June," he added.

"Hopefully we are not far away from the point where we can have much less focus on these (social restriction) measures."

He said the positivity rate among those tested was falling and the numbers were coming down.

"We are not where we want to be or where we need to be but we continue to go in the right direction," he continued. 

Progress being made 

Another person has died with Covid-19 in Ireland, Nphet said, while a further 687 cases were confirmed.

Dr Glynn said: "While the number of daily cases and the number of people in hospital and critical care remain high, we continue to make progress.

"In the last 24 hours, we have had no new admissions to critical care, the first time this has happened since St Stephen's Day.

"This is one more tangible signal of the efforts that people continue to make and how those efforts are impacting positively on the trajectory of Covid-19 in Ireland.

"Please stick with this over the coming weeks."

Social activity 

Professor Pete Lunn, head of the Behavioural Research Unit at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), said the evidence showed that while people are finding it tough going, the large majority (79%) believe that preventing the spread of Covid-19 is more important than the burden of restrictions.

He added: "The data also show systematic misperceptions about social activity. Presently, half the adult population does not meet up with anyone outside their household over a 48-hour period, with less than one quarter meeting up with three or more.

"Yet these more socially active people believe that they are meeting fewer people than average."

He continued: "Most people believe that others are enjoying more of a social life than they are.

"Those who are in fact most socially active do not realise this.

"The finding is important and we need to try to correct this misperception.

"When people appreciate effort being made by others, they typically become more likely to follow."

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