IRELAND’S CHIEF Medical Officer believes the curve in potential cases of COVID-19 has been flattened to the point where no further peak is expected.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Late Late Show, Dr Tony Holohan offered up a hopeful assessment of the weeks and months to follow.
Though there is still more work to be done, Dr Holohan was keen to highlight the way public efforts to adhere to the lockdown restrictions introduced by the government had saved “hundreds of lives”.
“What was really important for us to do…was suppress the virus in the community,” he said.
“We think we’ve flattened that curve so much that there is no peak, that we think we can go along at a low level and reduce it even further.”
“That’s the impact that we’ve had from all of the work that everybody across society has done,” Dr Holohan added.
The Chief Medical Officer told viewers that the rate of infection has slowed to a point where the average infected person in Ireland is passing the virus on to less than one person.
“If we continue on that path the rate of infection will continue to drop,” he said.
While ICU numbers are also continuing to drop, Dr Holohan said it was essential that people continued to adhere to social distancing measures.
Despite the positive outlook, he refused to be drawn on specifics about when the public can expect life to return to normal.
“What we would like to do at the beginning is look at the things that have the lowest rate of infection and the greatest benefit resulting from lifting the measures,” he said.
“We have to be careful as we lift restrictions that we don’t get an unexpected surge in that [reproductive] number.”
For now, Dr Holohan said restrictions will remain in place until at least May 5 and it remains essential that the public sticks to them.