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'We are starting to flatten the curve' - Simon Coveney

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Tánaiste Simon Coveney. Photo: Douglas O’Connor

Tánaiste Simon Coveney. Photo: Douglas O’Connor

Tánaiste Simon Coveney. Photo: Douglas O’Connor

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said that there is a long way to go in overcoming Covid-19 in Ireland but that "we are starting to flatten the curve."

Ireland saw an increase of 11pc in cases today, up from yesterday's 8pc but significantly better than figures predicted last week.

Mr Coveney said that because of Ireland's response to lockdown measures introduced, we are already beginning to flatten the curve of cases, and slow down the spread of Covid-19.

He did, however, say that it will be weeks at least before the outbreak is over in Ireland.

"I think Ireland is doing an incredible job given the extraordinary circumstances of what we're dealing with," he said.

"We are fortunate in that we got some notice, unlike other countries.

"We can see what's happened in Italy, Spain, France and Germany. We can see what's working and what hasn't worked, and we're learning lessons quickly from that.

"So what I would say to people in their homes, is that I think we are doing everything we possibly can to protect people from the spread of this virus."

"When you listen to Tony Holohan talking, he would acknowledge that the actions and the sacrifices and the discipline that the public are showing now, in terms of the restrictions that are being imposed, is actually having a positive impact and there is no evidence to suggest that we are starting to to flatten the curve," he continued.

"But we are not even close to being done. We are really at the start of this challenge still and we face many weeks still of the public cooperating with both government and the HSE and the Department of Health and the Chief Medical Officer, to make sure that we do everything we can so that in six months time, we look back on this period and we, I hope we'll be able to say that we did everything we possibly could, given what we knew, and when we knew it.

"Irish people have a reputation for for seeing rules as guidelines generally... but by and large, the Irish public has responded to this challenge in a really really positive and effective way."

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Cold reality: The most arresting image of the week was the sight of Claire Byrne, self-isolated with cold symptoms and broadcasting to the nation from her garden shed

Cold reality: The most arresting image of the week was the sight of Claire Byrne, self-isolated with cold symptoms and broadcasting to the nation from her garden shed

Cold reality: The most arresting image of the week was the sight of Claire Byrne, self-isolated with cold symptoms and broadcasting to the nation from her garden shed

Mr Coveney, was speaking on Claire Byrne Live. The host, who herself tested positive for Covid-19, pressed the Fine Gael politician on new guidelines for testing, which would have seen a low-risk case like hers go untested.

Mr Coveney admitted that as a result of the new guidelines there will be many undocumented cases, but that Ireland are still leading the way in testing and contact tracing.

"We are still testing about 5,000 people a day, which I think is probably higher per head of capita than any other country in the world," he said.

"It's more than about six times as many than the UK. It's more than Germany, it's more than France, it's more than Italy, it's even more than Singapore per head of capita, and of course we want to go beyond 5,000 tests a day.

"That's what will flatten the curve, and we're seeing some indications that it's starting to work but we should not be lulled into a false sense of security, and the discipline of the public is what will save Ireland here."

Online Editors


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