Expert Warns Government To Be Ready As Second Wave Is ‘Inevitable’

Professor Paddy Mallon - courtesy- Oireachtas TV

Clinical experts have warned an Oireachtas committee the government needs to be prepared for an ‘inevitable’ second wave of the Coronavirus.

Infectious diseases consultant at St Vincent’s Professor Paddy Mallon says Ireland’s testing and tracing capabilities need to be ready for an increase as the country re-opens.

Professor Mallon told a Special Oireachtas Committee that he believes a resurgence in the virus is bound to happen as Ireland emerges from lockdown.

“What countries that Ireland is in the position of around the world have done with resurgence of cases – the majority of the resurgence is occurring because new infections are being introduced into the country either through people travelling into the country or through the movement of goods.

“The importance of containing infections at borders become higher as levels of community transmission drop off.

“What they are is open for debate – you could screen everyone or judge your screening and restrictions on the epidemiological of the outbreak of the country the person is coming from.

“Someone coming from New Zealand compared to someone from Texas – the risk assessments would be very different.”

He added however: “I believe that the opening up that’s happening at the moment is being undertaken generally responsibly because we have good data on community transmission.”

His comments come following the news that holiday air bridges are to be established which would allow Irish tourists to travel to certain countries around Europe.

With travel seen as a big risk in terms of spreading the virus – EU countries hope to allow a flow between countries with similar coronavirus records.”