World Health Organisation director Mike Ryan has warned that despite some positive developments, the Covid-19 pandemic is not over.
Ryan stated that masks will remain a key part of life for a long time to come.
He said that people deserve to hope and feel that the worst part of the pandemic is behind us but warned that there is still a million cases of Covid-19 each week in Europe.
“The pandemic has stabilised at a really high, worrying level but the good news is that the incidence rate, the number of cases, is becoming decoupled from hospitalisations,”.
Appearing at a virtual conference hosted by NUI Galway, Ryan stated that he doesn’t want to provide public health advice to the Irish government but said that “prudence” was going to be necessary for individuals.
As Ireland is set to ease many of its remaining Covid-19 restrictions, Ryan warned that there will be risks associated with large indoor gatherings.
“We have to be very, very careful with large-scale indoor events,”.
In regards to the GAA All-Ireland football final, Ryan stated that outdoor events with vaccinated people were safer but “If we’re all shouting and roaring and singing into each other’s faces, the risk of transmission is higher.”
However, Ryan described Ireland’s move towards a system of restrictions based on public responsibility as an “important transition”.
“That’s an important transition, because in one sense people want their freedom back and that’s a good thing.”