Irish Health Minister Simon Harris has said that it is highly unlikely for the government to allow large gatherings in 2020 and the “cocooning” of elderly people. Amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus, most countries have imposed nationwide restrictions to curb the further spread of COVID-19 disease. Irish minister said on April 19 has made it clear that gatherings, where it is not possible to maintain safe social distancing including pubs, would not be allowed in the country. As long as the coronavirus is still “with us” or in the absence of vaccine of the disease, Harris can not envision “packed pubs”. Meanwhile, as of April 19, Ireland has recorded 14,758 confirmed cases of coronavirus with at least 571.
Along with disclosing the future plans regarding the lockdown, Ireland’s chief medical officer had also declared earlier this week that the first wave of coronavirus infections in the country has been contained in a large population. It had further raised the hopes of citizens that restrictions might be eased from May 5. But Harris has cautioned that most severe rules of lockdown will only be lifted in a slow and phased basis. The Irish Health Minister would like to ease the restrictions by allowing citizens to not be indoors and have other places to go to. However, older people, who are more vulnerable to the disease would still be recommended to remain in their houses.
While Irish minister talked about the phased opening of the country, US President Donald Trump has announced a three-phase plan to re-open America for “rejuvenation of economy” on April 17. Giving most control over the decision to the state governors, Trump administration has chosen to shelter more vulnerable individuals from the risk of contracting COVID-19 disease, instead of continuing the "blanket shutdown". The White House has released the entire plan in three phases based on state or regional “gating criteria”.
From the number of recorded infections to availability of hospital staff, there are a series of qualifications, that states have to fulfil in order to proceed to “phase comeback”. The documents should be submitted to the White House by state governors showing a downward trajectory in coronavirus cases, fatalities, with the graph of tests conducted in the area either be flat or growing. The official statement by Trump administration said that state and local officials might have to “tailor the application” of all criteria mentioned if not, the governors should continue to mobilise resources to work towards the re-opening of the region.
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