Home Music intervention Wearing masks set to continue for “a very long time” as Monday’s reopening gives green light

Wearing masks set to continue for “a very long time” as Monday’s reopening gives green light


The Irish doctor leading the World Health Organization (WHO) response to Covid-19 warned that wearing face coverings would likely continue for “a very long time” as he warned Europe was seeing still a million cases of Covid-19 per week.

Appearing today at a virtual conference hosted by NUI Galway, Dr Mike Ryan said that despite the success of vaccination programs, the use of masks to curb the spread of the virus “will likely continue for a very, very long time. “.

Dr Ryan’s comments come as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar tweeted on Saturday that the next step in reopening the country as part of the government’s plan to phase out Covid restrictions is “ok” to continue on Monday.

As part of the next phase of unwinding pandemic restrictions, indoor events can take place with a capacity of 60% of the sites provided that all participants are immunized, meaning they are either fully vaccinated or ‘they have recovered from Covid-19 in the previous six months.

Cinemas and theaters will have the same capacity limit under the same rules.

Outdoor events with fully vaccinated clients will see a 75% capacity allowed while the capacity limit will be 50% for outdoor events with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Live music is also expected to make a comeback in Irish pubs and weddings.

The Covid-19 has stabilized at a “high and worrying level”

Dr Ryan warned that the pandemic had stabilized “at a very high and worrying level”.

Speaking today, Dr Ryan said people “deserve” to hope and feel that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, but he warned that the pandemic has stabilized “at a very high level. high and disturbing “.

The good news, he said, is that the incidence rate is decoupling from hospitalizations due to successful vaccinations.

“Caution” was going to be necessary for individuals, he said, and in particular, the country had to be “very, very careful” when it came to large-scale indoor events.

Asked about his thoughts on arrangements for the GAA All-Ireland football final next week, Mr Ryan said: “If we scream, roar and sing at each other, the risk of transmission is higher.”

He said Ireland’s move towards a system of restrictions based on public accountability was a “significant transition”.

“Ireland and other countries are now moving from a state intervention phase to a much more self-managed behavior for risk management.

“It’s an important transition because in a way people want their freedom back and that’s a good thing.

“And they want these outsourced restrictions lifted.”

“But,” he warned, “we still have to take care of ourselves.”

Dr Ryan said he would advise people to continue to practice social distancing, avoid overcrowded spaces indoors and wear masks when reunited with people other than their families.

Ethics of boosters

During the conference, Dr Ryan, who has long spoken on vaccine inequality, said countries need to consider the ethics of providing booster vaccines to their populations.

“The idea that fit and healthy people who have already had two doses need a boost. We have no evidence for this.

“It’s like giving out life jackets on the Titanic and you give two life jackets to some people and not to others.”

“You can argue that two life jackets are better than one, but what you have to recognize to isolate this argument – here are two life jackets – is that there is someone nearby in a developing country who doesn’t have a life jacket. “

A mural by Emmalene Blake in Dublin
A mural by Emmalene Blake in Dublin

However, Dr Ryan said there are “rational justifications for extending primary treatment to a third dose for some people” such as the immunocompromised.

But, it was a tragedy that there were still doctors and nurses on the front lines in low-income countries who were not protected from Covid-19, he said.

“Right now, our collective investment, both public and private, when you think about what this virus has done in the world and when you think we spend billions of dollars every year on military defense, and we are fighting for the WHO to get $ 17 billion to vaccinate the world.

“I think we have to readjust.”

Hospitals can’t operate like low cost airlines

The pandemic has also served as a reminder that we cannot run hospitals like low cost airlines, he said.

Dr Ryan said health services across the country are “efficiently” run as low cost airlines at 120% of capacity.

The pandemic has also served as a reminder that we cannot run hospitals like low cost airlines, he said.
The pandemic has also served as a reminder that we cannot run hospitals like low cost airlines, he said.

“If you don’t have enough beds or if you don’t have a properly trained workforce or if you don’t have enough flexibility in the system, or if there isn’t enough money in the system … you have not isolated or protected parts of the system so that they are not affected by the emergency.

“I think all countries, including Ireland, are going to take a close look at this,” he said.

1,703 more cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Saturday. At 8 a.m., 363 Covid-19 patients were being treated in Irish hospitals, including 52 in intensive care units.