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Counties with low Covid-19 rates could become ‘green zones’ with relaxed restrictions if infections kept down

Counties with low Covid-19 rates could become ‘green zones’ with relaxed restrictions if infections are kept down.

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According to an expert, COUNTIES that hold low Covid-19 rates could become “green zones” with relaxed restrictions.

Dr. Gabriel Scally, president of the public health section at the UK’s Royal Society of Medicine, said if infections were kept low enough in individual counties, they could ease measures while restricting travel through their border.

Counties with low Covid-19 rates could become ‘green zones’ with relaxed restrictions if infections kept down
PA: Press Association

646 new cases of the virus were confirmed yesterday[/caption]

Counties with low Covid-19 rates could become ‘green zones’ with relaxed restrictions if infections kept down
PA: Press Association

The entire country remains under Level 5 lockdown restrictions[/caption]

Counties with low Covid-19 rates could become ‘green zones’ with relaxed restrictions if infections kept down
PA: Press Association

Dr. Gabrial Scally[/caption]

Leitrim, Kilkenny, Cork, Kerry, and Sligo all hold much lower rates of Covid-19 than the rest of the country currently.

The entire country is under Level 5 lockdown restrictions, hoping for a very slight easing of April measures.

Prof Scally agreed that if these rates were kept low, the counties could safely ease restrictions.

GREEN ZONES

Speaking on RTE’s Saturday with Katie Hannon, he said: “If the numbers are down and kept down, I see absolutely no reason why not.

“In fact, the proposals that are being put forward to take us to an elimination strategy talks about green zones, and I think it’s a very sensible policy, and it’s endorsed internationally.

“Whereby somewhere like Kerry, if it got down to minimal numbers, you put a boundary around Kerry.”

TRAVEL BOUNDARIES

He continued: “A permeable boundary, it wouldn’t be cut off forever.

“So it can keep itself at zero by being very careful about travel in and out and put restrictions across a buffer zone because these county borders are, we know, run through farms and peoples farmyards.

“It can be done, and when you’ve got green zones beside each other, you can form a bigger green zone, and within those green zones, you can relax a lot of the restrictions provided you don’t have the virus traveling in and restarting outbreaks.

“And if you do get cases because you will get cases, zero Covid doesn’t mean there’s never any cases. What it means is when you have a case, you do have the resources to get on top of it and stamp it out.”

DON’T LET GUARD DOWN

Meanwhile, the Irish College of GPs Covid-19 lead, Dr. Nuala O’Connor, warned that virus cases could “take off again” in Ireland if people drop their guard.

Dr. Nuala O’Connor urged the public to stick with restrictions for a few more weeks to allow for more easing lockdown options after.

 

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, she said: “We’ve made enormous strides, and I know it’s been tough for everybody, but we do need to keep going because this virus hasn’t changed.”

She continued: “So if we drop our guard and if we start to mix more with people, then this really could take off again.”

Dr. O’Connor said the country is already seeing “incredible wins” due to the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out but urged the public to stick with restrictions until the jabs start to have a real impact on virus transmission.