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More traffic and people on the move - Tony Holohan warns of complacency and doesn't guarantee easing of restrictions on May 5

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Chief medical officer Tony Holohan has said that if today was May 5 there could be no easing of the restrictive measures.

It is still not safe to lift any of the measures, Dr Holohan warned, adding that people should not automatically assume there will be changes on May 5.

Dr Holohan said the there is hard evidence to support anecdotal reports that a sense of complacency has crept into people’s behaviour.

“As the Taoiseach said complacency is the new enemy.”

Dr Holohan said it would take 'very little' to undo the good work of recent weeks.

Dr Holohan showed evidence from the Irish National Seismic Network showing a rise in vehicle traffic in recent days.

“There is more population movement,” he added.

Philip Nolan chair of NPHET Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “For the population at large, the growth rate is at zero and the transmission of the virus is effectively suppressed.

He referred to the R number which indicates the number of people a person who is positive is likely to infect .

“Our R number is between 0.5 and 0.8. This success emphasises how vital it is to remain vigilant in our behaviours. If the R number moves above one, we are no longer in control of the disease.”

But he cautioned there is no room for complacency :”There are 130 people in intensive care. There are 730 in hospital.”

He expressed concern that if the virus is not contained in nursing homes they could end up re-infecting the general community after any measures were eased.

Online Editors