Ireland’s Prime Minister expressed regret on Thursday over the decision to ease lockdown rules in the country around Christmas.
In an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson, Micheal Martin said: “If we knew then what we knew now, now we certainly wouldn’t have made that decision.”
Ireland is in lockdown again after loosening restrictions in December, which resulted in the country having one of the highest infection rates in the world by January.
Martin added that Ireland would remain in a lockdown “for quite some time” to reduce hospital numbers.
The UK variant is now responsible for 70% of the Covid-19 cases in Ireland, Martin said.
“I think globally, we have to intensify vaccination efforts, because it’s important that the entire globe gets vaccinated, not just countries who are wealthier and in a position to do it earlier,” he said.
In addition to this, he also said the “new variants could undermine the vaccine effort” and reiterated that Ireland’s goal remains to vaccinate 80% of people by September.
“It’s been disrupted somewhat by issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine and its supply, and we’re not getting the same level of supply that we had thought we would get at the commencement of the year and that’s part of the wider EU procurement issue with AstraZeneca,” Martin conceded, but he said the country was getting higher volumes of other vaccines in the second quarter of the year.
February 11 coronavirus news – CNN