AN IRISH priest has claimed that Covid-19 is "no more dangerous than the seasonal flu."
Cork-based priest Fr Tomás Walsh made a series of claims in a number of letters that have been distributed throughout his parish.
He says that the annual death count in Ireland is roughly the same as any other year, concluding that the dangers of coronavirus are being overhyped.
"The saturation of Covid-19 news across the media resulting in fear and paralysis throughout the land is without precedent," Fr Walsh wrote in a letter on October 25.
"Sane voices are desperately needed to put this Coronavirus into perspective - and to come up with proportionate responses.
"The truth must be told that Covid-19 is no more dangerous than a seasonal flu - to be taken seriously for sure, but certainly not to close down the whole of society with its catastrophic consequences.
"There will be no more deaths that will occur this year in Ireland, than any year before.
"That Covid-19 'positive' figures are rising is easily explained by the fact that more and more tests are being carried out. The sensational way that a Covid-19 outbreak this weekend in a Galway nursing nome, where 25 residents out of 27 were diagnosed 'positive', was used to stroke-up further Covid-19 fears is sheer propaganda.
"The fact that none of these residents needed hospitalization is proof that Covid-19 is not the killer virus that we are led to believe. Common sense is the first victim of this virus!"
Earlier this week, figures were released from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) that indicate Ireland's death rate in recent months has been "broadly in line" with the death rate of previous years.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, more than 63,000 people have contracted coronavirus, while nearly 2,000 have died from it.