Leinster House

Dáil Hears Emergency Phase Of Covid In Ireland Could Last For Years

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The emergency phase of COVID-19 may be with us for months or years according to the head of the Department of Health.

Top health officials have been appearing before a new Dáil committee on COVID today.

The Dáil’s COVID-19 committee is holding its first full meeting today with top health officials being called in to answer questions on the crisis.

This morning Secretary General of the Department of Health Jim Breslin warned the acute health issues will be with us for a long time:

‘This is not a one, two or even a three-day storm, after which we move to the recovery phase.

‘The acute phase of this crisis will definitely be measured in months and most probably in years, rather than days.

‘The threat from the virus will be a reality for the foreseeable future.’

“We will be in a challenged healthcare setting for the foreseeable future,” adding healthcare will cost more and we will do less due to COVID19 guidelines and fallout.”

“Because the virus is so new, there is so much we don’t know.”

There’s also been questions about how people will be tested over the next few months as the exonomy starts to re-open.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says there’s no plans for industries like construction to be blanket tested, but that they have made progress in reporting

Dr Holohan also addressed reports that test results were being given directly to employers, rather than the people getting tested, and says it’s a full stop breach of their confidentiality if it’s happening

HSE CEO Paul Reid will also appear at the committee meeting.