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COVID 19: Update from Tony Holohan

March 13, 2020 Profiles and Interview


  • Public health – measures announced today
    • Increase in cases up to yesterday – additional update from national virus lab last night – significant cluster of infections in ICU and increase in community transmission cases. This led to the need for increase in social distance recommendations Those with symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days.
    • Overall intention of implementation these measures now is to maximize the delay impact of this disease. An implication of this approach is that the length of time is longer, but it is considered the most prudent approach to take.
    • A big emphasis was on the need for social distancing – this will help to interrupt the transmission of the virus and is the key.
    • There is now a need to drive behavioural change.
    • Apply until 29 March.
  • Mass gatherings and workplaces
    • The 100 person  threshold for indoor mass gatherings does not apply to workplaces. However the objective should be to reduce contacts where possible by staggering worktimes/workbreaks, teleworking where possible etc.
  • General public and shopping
    • Purchasing practices do not need to change and there is no need to stockpile goods.
    • Clear messaging from Minister Humphries on this today.
    • See Retail Ireland comment here.
  • Workplace hygiene
    • Updated FAQ answers many of the questions on this – see here.
    • 2-3 hour lifespan for virus on surfaces – most household surface cleaners will work
    • Hand hygiene remains paramount
    • All employees should know what the symptoms are
    • Government comms will escalate in the coming days on this
  • Essential services
    • Analysis is being done on essential services – both in health and non-health. (FDI have consistently flagged to Government the essential nature of food production and wider supply chain)
    • Public transport and the maintenance of it is important for people to get to hospital and  get to work
  • New cases

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