Trinity academics warn that Ireland is likely to face a strong and imminent second wave of Covid-19, given that the virus has not been completely eradicated from the island.
In response to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in recent days, public health experts and epidemiologists from Trinity, Dublin City University (DCU), University College Cork (UCC) and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) have set out and explained how Ireland could become a “zero-Covid019” island, similar to New Zealand, a strategy which follows an open letter by the scientists and researchers calling for the government to end the virus throughout the island before lifting restrictions.
Face masks should be legally enforced in outdoor crowds and indoor public spaces, the group says.
Additionally, restrictions should be reintroduced locally in areas with community transmission of the virus.
The group also asks for lockdown measures to be relaxed in “green zones”, which are areas free of Covid-19 cases.
Trinity immunologist Dr Tomás Ryan told the Irish Times that although the issue of foreign travel coming into Ireland had the potential to be “catastrophic”, it could be resolved by introducing a compulsory quarantine period for people entering the country, as well as testing entrants frequently before they exited quarantine.
There have been 25,698 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland since March, with 1,749 deaths. 23,364 are reported to have recovered.