HSE boss says Monday won’t be “a big moment” to ease COVID-19 bans

The HSE chief said next Monday would not be the “only big moment” in easing coronavirus restrictions, but would instead be “a small step in the way”.

Under the roadmap published by the government, May 18 marked the beginning of the first phase of easing sanctions.

Planned measures include allowing people to return to work in sectors such as outdoor construction, as well as reopening park centers and some other retail businesses.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is meeting a day earlier than usual this morning to discuss what advice it would offer to reduce restrictions from Monday.

The cabinet will then consider the proposals and make a decision tomorrow, Tayesih Leo Varadkar de Deal said today that the government is “gaining more confidence” that they can go to the first stage in a few days.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid stressed this morning that the first step is just one step in the right direction.

He explained, “These have been quite difficult weeks for people and you can already see that some people are becoming less focused and more relaxed.

“We’re worried you’ll see a wave of people who think May 18 is a great single moment – not a great one.

“The 18th isn’t the only big moment – it’s a small step along the way.”

He stressed that if the public “stays” with health officials, there will be continued suppression of the virus – and says it is “adequate repression” in the community.

Test plan

Meanwhile, HSE expects the three-day CVD-19 exam lead time to be Monday.

The executive says it is updating its technology to automate results.

Display latest statistics There have been 23,400 confirmed cases since the outbreak began, with 1,497 deaths.

Health officials now plan to have the capacity to test up to 15,000 per day starting next week.

Mr Reid, however, explained that it would take three days for symptoms to be reported and results to be obtained.

He said, “We are working on different measures.

“All we had to do – and we will continue to do – is to automatically enable interfaces between those systems so that we can extract data and publish results quickly.”

Original image: HSE CEO Paul Reid. Photo: Leon Farrell / PhotoCall Ireland

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