Public urged not to travel due to risk of asymptomatic spread

Infectious disease specialist Dr Mary Horgan has called on the public not to travel during Easter weekend due to the risk of asymptomatic people spreading Covid-19.

Dr Horgan, who is a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team and president of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, said “the last thing we want is people moving around” and bringing infections to areas which are free of them at present.

She described the aftermath of Christmas as being “fairly horrific” in Cork University Hospital (CUH) where she works as a consultant.

She recalled that one man had travelled home to see his family at Christmas and infected his mother, his grandparents and his grand-aunt all of whom ended up in hospital.

Speaking on the Brendan O’Connor Show on RTÉ Radio 1, Dr Horgan asked people to “think before they travel” as up to half of the people with the UK variant of the disease are asymptomatic.

“If people could just hang on, there will be more and more vaccines. The big thing is to try and get that jab in your arm as quickly as possible so we can protect people.”

Gardaí have said high-visibility patrols at public amenities, parks and beauty spots will continue across the country this weekend.

In a statement ahead of the Easter holidays, gardaí asked people to plan activities to ensure exercise is taken within the 5km limit for recreation.

The force warned people that illegal parking at popular amenities can result in cars being towed and impounded, and all adults in a car found to be undertaking a non-essential journey may be liable for a €100 fine each.

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