‘It’s dangerous’ - Ireland’s Health Minister urges public to stick to social distancing rules

‘It’s dangerous’ - Ireland’s Health Minister urges public to stick to social distancing rules

IRELAND’S HEALTH minister Simon Harris has called on the public to stay the course with the current restrictions on travel and social distancing measures despite a continued reduction in cases. 

The number of patients being treated in intensive care with COVID-19 has dropped 20% in the last week, with 72 coronavirus patients in ICU this past Saturday, May 9, compared with 99 a week earlier. 

It also comes a week after Leo Varadkar issued a five-step plan for easing Ireland out of lockdown, with shops and places of work set to reopen as part of a staggered process. 

Those changes have already begun to be rolled out, with the elderly and vulnerable allowed outside for the first time in months this week to enjoy gentle exercise while the wider public are no allowed to exercise anywhere up to 5km from their homes. 

However, Mr. Harris has called on the public to “finish the job” amid reports of increasing numbers gathering in parks and outdoor setting despite the government urging the public to remain at home unless exercising and to maintain a two-metre distance from one another when out and about. 

“We’d all never forgive ourselves if we let things slip backwards now,” he wrote on Twitter. 

“I get it; some people look at what might be possible from 18th May & think its ok to just start that from now. Bottom line is: it’s not. It’s dangerous.  

“Every day counts. The reason these restrictions are in place until then: to save YOUR life & keep your loved ones well.” 

The Health Minister ended his plea with a stark warning for anyone “thinking of bending or stretching the public health rules. 

“Remember this number: 72. The number of people in ICU with #Covid19 fighting for their life & health. Be thankful it’s not you or I & let’s stay the course to keep it that way.”