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transparency needed Infectious diseases expert insists it is time to stop 'scaremongering' public over Covid

Dr Lambert said the indoor dining plan was “very reactionary”

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Infectious disease expert Professor Jack Lambert

Infectious disease expert Professor Jack Lambert

Infectious disease expert Professor Jack Lambert

An infectious diseases consultant said it was time to stop "scaremongering" the public over Covid-19.

Dr Jack Lambert, consultant in infectious diseases at the Mater Hospital in Dublin, said there was a “lot of scaremongering going on,” and the public needed “transparency” as the country opens up.

Opening up the country was “critical” he said, as Delta variant numbers “are going down in the UK."

“They will go down in Ireland. Many people in ICU have been there for months,” Dr Lambert said.

Dr Lambert told Newstalk the Government’s reopening plan for indoor dining was “reactionary,” however.

Ireland was months behind other countries, he added and while he agreed the economy should be reopening, he felt there had not been enough preparation.

Dr Lambert said the indoor dining plan was “very reactionary”.

The Delta variant would soon be followed by “another infectious” variant within a few months, he added. And the State was just reacting too slowly.

“We had a plan for opening in July,” Dr Lambert said.

“All the issues, from ventilation to antigen, should have been done months ago.

“Absolutely I think we should open up safely with ventilation and masks as part of it but we keep moving the target.

“It doesn't seem that we are working as a team… All this lockdown, opening up, is hurting the travel and the hospitality industry.

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“Other countries have done things differently, we seem to be an outlier.

“When pubs open up there will be no enforcement, just like we were in lockdown, I was in rush hour traffic.

“I think it will be very difficult to enforce, I don’t think people will enforce it.

“If people go out to restaurants and pubs, the vaccine is important, so are masks, ventilation and hand washing.”

Dr Lambert said the State needed to focus on the vaccination of young people and those who hadn’t been inoculated.

He said “a few months ago the average age (for hospitalisations) was 35.

“The average age is now 24 plus. There’s a big group of people aged 25 to 55 (who’ve been ill with Covid-19) who’ve either not been vaccinated or have been inadequately vaccinated.

“We need to target particular groups. Vaccination started on 26 December.

“I have patients in high risk groups delayed by three weeks getting vaccinated.

“We need to shape up, do things quickly, everything we do is reactionary months after every other country.”

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