Ireland could be living with coronavirus for “quite some time” if lockdown measures succeed in slowing the virus from spreading, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) chair.
peaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Professor Philip Nolan said that if strict restrictions on movement work, people will have to adapt their lifestyles to cope with the virus.
“Presuming that we succeed in living with the spread of the virus, we would be living with the virus for a quite some period of time and have to learn to adapt to how we live.
“This is a new disease – it didn’t exist last November, so how it will behave over the next few months is not yet clear,” he said.
“This is a long slow battle against a new disease and we’ll have to adapt our measures over time to help the disease behave in our community.”
While the HSE has predicted that the peak of the coronavirus could take place between April 10 and 14, Professor Nolan said that a peak period is not yet known.
“The objective here is to suppress the spread of the virus so much so that the peak is very very late and is very very low,” he said.
The impact of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar putting the country into a lockdown will be seen next week, as the impact experts are seeing now is from softer measures taken earlier in the crisis.
“We don’t know yet what the impact of the measures taken last Friday, it takes seven to 14 days to have its full effect,” said Professor Nolan.
“What we’re seeing now is the response to early measures, closing universities and asking people to restrict their movements.”