Opinion: Irish Government should instate a ‘total lock-down…now!’

By Midlands North West MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan

Let’s be clear; Ireland is very vulnerable in the face of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

We are very low on ventilators. There is now clear evidence which shows that a country with a low number of ventilators per head of population has a higher death rate than a country with a high number of ventilators per head of population.

Is this why, for example, Germany has far fewer deaths than Italy? However, Ireland has half the number of ventilators per head that Italy has; that’s frightening!

Consider the talk that now revolves around the peak of the infection curve and consider last night’s (Thursday, March 20) figures from the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan.

Our infection rate is soaring. Yet we have not put in place inward travel restrictions. We were slow to close schools, pubs and so on.

What’s in the past is in the past; we must look to what is coming down the line. I believe that we must move to instigate a total lock-down now – similar to France.

If we do not we will needlessly kill thousands of our citizens. Why wait? Why be behind the curve?

The only ‘medicine’ now?

Lock-down – right now – is the only ‘medicine’ to counter this virus. It worked in China. It is just beginning to work in Italy.

Many countries in Europe are going towards lock-down. Poland, Denmark, Spain and others have ‘closed’ many borders. Let’s do it now.

Dr. Mike Ryan of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the most important single factor in fighting coronavirus is speed. Minister Harris and Taoiseach Varadkar; please move now. What are you waiting for?