‘We are in this together’: Taoiseach says nation can and will fight COVID-19
In a measured and emphatic St Patrick’s Day address to the nation, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Irish people that the fight against Covid-19 was just beginning, but that as a nation, “we will get through it”
In a televised address, he said that the country is making big demands of healthcare staff and he wanted people to know why these actions were being taken.
He said we are in a pandemic the likes of which no one has seen before, and that there will be 15,000 cases by the end of the month and continue to rise in the weeks ahead.
He said sadly some people will die but the virus can be slowed in its tracks.
More will be required of Irish people in the coming weeks to halt the spread of the virus.
“We are watching what is happening around the world and we will learn from the experience of other countries.”
He said he knows that the nation is anxious to know when the emergency when it will be over, but that as yet, they just don’t know.
“Many of you want to know when this will be over, the truth is we do not know yet”
He said, “in short, we are asking people to come together as a nation by staying apart from each other.”
He revealed the Government will ask the elderly to stay at home for a number of weeks “cocooning” but said they wouldn’t be alone and the most precious in society will be saved as a result.
“Not all superheroes wear capes, some wear scrubs and gowns”
Mr Varadkar urged the population to phone their neighbours and make sure “those who are living alone are not left alone.
“Fear is a virus in itself”
He urged people to limit their social media use and to not fall for misinformation.
“Fear is a virus in itself,” he said. “Constantly scrolling on your phone or obsessing with the latest developments isn’t good for anyone.”
“I send a message of friendship and hope from Ireland to everyone around the world.”
He reassured the public that “when we are through the worst, we will get people back to work and businesses open again.”
“We will get through this, we will prevail.”
“Tonight on our national holiday, I want to send a message around the world: we are in this together.”
Watch the full address below:
WATCH: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar delivers Ministerial Broadcast to the country about the Covid-19 pandemic | Read more: https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0317/1123774-taoiseach-to-broadcast-to-country-on-covid-19-at-9pm/ https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1OdKrqbNaWQxX
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 17, 2020