Easter could be ‘Ireland’s Cheltenham’, says doctor who tells us to ‘stay home, eat chocolate’


Infectious disease expert Dr Paddy Mallon has warned that this holiday weekend could be “Ireland’s Cheltenham” in terms of the spread of Covid-19.

The expected flood of cases has not yet happened in Ireland because of the measures everyone has taken and Government actions to date, Dr Mallon told Newstalk Breakfast.

The Government acted at the right time unlike the government in the UK, he said, where an event like Cheltenham was allowed to go ahead and now there are “tens of thousands” of cases as a result.

It was “one of the seminal” events that led to wider spread of the virus in the UK, he said.

The Easter bank holiday weekend could be “Ireland’s Cheltenham” if people in the east of the country (where there are more cases) “decide to take off”.

People need to stick with the message, if they do then next week “we could be seeing a drop off”.

Dr Mallon said there was “cautious optimism” and that if “everyone sticks with the plan” the flood could be halted.

“Treat this the same as every other weekend.

“Stay home, eat chocolate and next week we could be seeing good news.”

    Useful information

  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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