A Nobel Prize- winning scientist has predicted, through analysing raw data, that Ireland's death rate and infection will "burn itself out" in the next two weeks, enabling an earlier exit from lockdown.
Professor Michael Levitt, of Stanford University, was speaking after he correctly calculated the demise of China's spread, long ahead of most health experts.
In early February, as many scientists warned of exponential growth, Levitt forecast the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in China would taper out at around 80,000, with 3,250 deaths. Three months on, China has a total of 82,885 cases and 4,633 deaths - in a population of 1.4bn.
Now Prof Levitt has calculated that Ireland's infection is burning itself out and will 'taper off' at around 30,000 cases and fewer than 2,400 deaths. Ireland now has 22,385 cases and 1,403 deaths.
He says the death rate is more difficult to predict, due to a number of factors, such as some countries counting coronavirus deaths in those who would normally have died from underlying health conditions.
"I did this calculation 12 times with different parameters and the number of cases look like they will rise to about 30,000 and then it will taper out because the virus doesn't grow exponentially from day one, again and again, it burns itself out.
"In all European countries, it seems that the number of deaths from Covid-19 amount to the equivalent of a month of natural deaths for that country. So there is a second pattern here."
Although not an epidemiologist, Prof Levitt won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry after developing accurate computer models of chemical reactions that were able to use features of both classical physics and quantum mechanics.
"My skill in chemistry is not bench work but to analyse very complicated systems in order to understand what is going on," he says.
Now having amassed millions of followers, including Tony Robbins and Elon Musk, who last week tweeted: "Levitt rocks!", Prof Levitt says he has become committed to analysing the infection spread.
With the annual Irish death rate at six people in 1,000 (the Italian death rate is 11 per 1,000 a year, while the average annual death rate for most of Europe is 8 in 1,000), the professor attributes this low level to several advantages.
"Ireland has the youngest population in Europe, it has a small inequality gap and a good health system."
Ireland's tax system does more than any other country in Europe to reduce inequality, according to a report by the ESRI, while a single-tier health system has been employed to deal with the crisis.
"If you look at America, it is a very unequal society, and remember the virus is going for the weakest and most vulnerable," he says.
"Ireland has far fewer of those people because it is a younger country and a much more equal system."
Describing lockdown as "a medieval approach", Prof Levitt says: "We should be smarter than that. We can do selective lockdown."
He says: "The countries that control the epidemics very well are generally countries in the east - China, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore - where there is a very strong sense of common good. You don't do something because it's good for you - you do it because it is good for everyone.
"And these countries have three factors in place. It is normal to wear a mask, they have already been traumatised by Sars so it's common that they automatically measure your temperature and they don't pay by cash or card, they pay on WeChat [a Chinese payments app] from 2m away. All these measures were already in place."
He believes the epidemic was never truly exponential, and that the virus burns itself out, because people continue to meet the same people and go to the same locations in their weekly lives.
After time, he says most people will either be infected or immune, without realising.
"Since we only count the confirmed cases, it looks like the confirmed cases are having a hard time infecting people because they are actually competing with unaffected cases."
He adds: "If I was managing the lockdown in the country, if there was a region of Ireland that hasn't been touched at all, I would have stopped inter-city travel between those locations and then allow people to go to work and school, inside Dublin, for example, but not let them move outside Dublin.
"But I don't think there have been unaffected areas in Ireland because, looking at the map, it looks like there have been cases everywhere.
"In two weeks, my guess is Ireland will see a big change and a big change in attitudes too.
"People will get on with life."
He pointed to evidence to suggest that people may be underestimating the degree of airborne spread in public spaces that has already taken place.