Varadkar on Delta wave: ‘We need to avoid getting back into a spiral of fear’
6th July 2021
TÁINAISTE LEO VARADKAR has said Ireland needs to “avoid getting back into a spiral of fear” over the Delta wave because the country “can withstand it” due to levels of vaccination.
Speaking this afternoon, Varadkar described the announcement that England was to lift many of its Covid-19 restrictions as “too risky” and he expressed concern about a spillover in Ireland.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that from 19 July it will no longer be a legal requirement that people have to wear masks in certain settings, with other restrictions such as on the size of events also to be lifted.
“What was announced in England yesterday was in my view too risky,” Varadkar said.
The prospect of packed theatres in the West End and nightclubs in Manchester being packed to the rafters is one that would concern us quite frankly here in this country because if things go wrong in England it will have spillover effects in Ireland and on the other neighbours.
Despite this, Varadkar added that “we need to avoid getting back into a spiral of fear here”.
“The Delta wave is happening but it’s going to be different to other waves and that’s because of the vaccination program,” he said.
“I want to to reassure people, you will see cases rise dramatically over the next few weeks, but it’s not the same as it was back in the Alpha wave or last year.”
A thousand cases a day or 2,000 cases a day in the next few weeks or months is not the same as a thousand or 2,000 cases a day back in January.
He added: “I want to reassure people, you will see cases rise dramatically over the next few weeks, but it’s not the same as it was back in the Alpha wave or last year.”
Varadkar said that the link between infections, hospitalisations and deaths has been “considerably weakened not broken” by vaccination and that this is what “really matters”.
Speaking at a Department of Health briefing last week, NPHET virologist Dr Cillian de Gascun said that the Delta variant of Covid-19 now accounts for approximately 70% of cases in Ireland.
He said the available evidence suggests the Delta variant is between 40% and 60% more transmissible than the Alpha strain, previously referred to as the UK variant, that became dominant in Ireland at the beginning of the year.