WATCH | Ireland's young adults and pubs must take heed of coronavirus Covid-19 risk pleads Chief Medical Officer

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly


The Irish doctor who leading the fight to prevent deaths caused by a spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 has pleaded with young adults, publicans and restaurant owners to comply with social distancing measures that are designed to restrict spread.

Dr Tony Holohan, Ireland's Chief Medical Officer, made the appeal on Saturday, March 14 when he announced that a second Irish person has died and 39 new cases had been identified.

While mass gatherings have been restricted, he said there is a lot of evidence that a lot of young adults are not complying with mass gathering restrictions and are being facilitated by some pubs and restaurants.

"A lot of anecdotal reports still of pubs that are busy restaurants that are busy and it is important that we get the message us that individuals must listen to the message that they must take personal responsibility it is important that individual behaviour is consistent with the message that we give out to reduce their discretionary activity," he said

He said it is important that people reduce traditionally activity such as going to pubs and restaurants and there are restaurants and other locations that have tried in an innovative way to implement social distancing.

He said it is important that in particular young adults get the message.

"This is a significant message it's a serious message and something for people to take heed of," he said.

He said he had seen first-hand evidence of social distancing not working on his walk home from work in the evening. However, he said data was been gathered on the effectiveness of the measure. He said it would be reviewed.

When Ireland moved into the Delay phase this week, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said pubs could stay open when the measures could stay open but in a restricted way.

"Restaurants, cafes and other businesses can stay open but should look at ways that they can implement the public health advice on social distancing.

"As a general rule, outside of work people should seek to reduce social interactions as much as possible," he said.

Pubs and restaurants have been shut France, Spain and Italy in recent days to restrict the spread.