Táinaiste Leo Varadkar has warned that a potential fourth wave of covid-19 could jeopardise the re-opening of the economy.
Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme, the Táinaiste stated that “this Indian variant or even the Vietnamese variant which we’re reading about now” could result in a fourth wave of covid-19, going on to speak critically of the crowds seen socialising over the weekend.
Varadkar said that while vaccination may help mitigate a fourth wave, “only 20% of our population is fully vaccinated.
“So what we’re targeting now is to get over 60% – 2.5 million people – fully vaccinated by the end of July. That’s where we need to be.”
Varadkar went on to state that the timeline for opening the economy in June, July and August “was made…on the basis of a “low to moderate risk”” after speaking to NPHET, and that a review would have to be done before the reopening dates were reached.
On the large crowds seen gathering in Dublin city-centre, the Táinaiste spoke critically, saying that “people are allowed to meet up outdoors, and if anything we’re encouraging people to meet up outdoors rather than indoors. But it’s still supposed to be three households.”
“Those scenes were not the kind of things that we want to see, but I would caveat that by saying that, you know, I do understand that people have had a really tough couple of months, haven’t been able to see family and friends, the weather is good and people are going to get outdoors.”
“People don’t get as annoyed about indoors because we don’t see it,” he added.