Health Minister Harris issues 'blunt' prediction about length of Covid-19 lockdown

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

coronavirus covid-19

Coronavirus checkpoint in Portlaoise

The lockdown on travel, work and many other aspects of life in Ireland to stem the spread of Covid-19 and save lives looks set to be extended the Minister for Health has flagged.

Nearly a month after schools were shut and other restrictions introduced on March 12, Minister Simon Harris expects measures to be extended.

"Just to be blunt and honest with people, the restrictions that are in place are not going to be lifted tomorrow, we're going to have to keep at it," said Minister Harris on Classic Hits FM on Thursday, April 9.

Tighter restrictions known as the lockdown were introduced on March 27. They are due to expire after Easter. The Minister expects an extension.

"What's highly likely tomorrow (Friday) is that the National Public Health Emergency Team will recommend that we continue with the very strict restrictions ... I expect that to be a period of weeks," said Mr Harris. 

"But what we're hoping to do tomorrow is show people what the journey looks like. If we keep at this for another couple of weeks, where does it bring us, what does success look like?"

"In relation to the roadmap, there is going to be a point in this country where we will have to live alongside the virus, for want of a better phrase, where sadly people will still get sick and sadly some people will still die but it is at a rate that is sustainable for our doctors to manage," he said.