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WHO's Irish Executive Director suggests reopening pubs county by county

By James Fenton

August 4, 2020 at 2:39pm


Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation, has suggested that Ireland could benefit from reopening pubs on a county by county basis.

Born in Co. Sligo, Mike Ryan became Executive Director of the World Health Organization's Health Emergencies Programme in 2019 and has been a trusted source of advice worldwide since the Covid-19 outbreak began.

With the Irish government set to announce today whether pubs can reopen on August 10 as scheduled, Dr. Ryan has suggested that one potential method could be to do so on a county by county basis.

Speaking about the possibility of localised lockdowns, Dr. Ryan said: "It is a balance and depends on people’s behaviour and how they adapt. It may be where there is localised community transmission, localised measures may have to be taken."

He added that "you can use a much more localised strategy, by county, by province, whatever it is in the Irish context but to do that you need very localised data and a localised response capacity."

The National Public Health Emergency Team is meeting today to discuss whether Ireland can move to phase 4 of its roadmap, with a Government announcement expected some time this evening.

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