Minister Heather Humphreys (FG).

'We are making a difference' - Minister Humphreys

“Every sacrifice we are making in terms of restricting our movements is saving a life... We are making a difference!”
That was the view expressed by the Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphreys, today (Friday) when she spoke to the Celt about the country's battle against Coronavirus.
She praised the people of Cavan and Monaghan for playing their part in flattening the curve but warned against becoming complacent.
“If we hadn't taken the action we did, our doctors told us that by Thursday [yesterday, April 23] we would have had 7,800 new cases and 800 people in ICU and we would have had at least 1,700 [total] deaths by the 23rd of April and 4,800 by the 30th of April and 12,300 by the 7th of May,” explained Minister Humphreys.
By comparison, the figures reported yesterday amounted to 936 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and the death toll reached 794 people.
Without imposing the restrictions, Minister Humphreys says: “Our hospitals would have been overrun and our ICUs would have been packed but our reproductive rate [the number of new people infected per case] has fallen to 0.5. Of course the work is not over and what I will say is that there's a real risk of another wave so we have to redouble our efforts to fight the virus because we just don't know when it could come back again.”
Despite real progress, the Cavan Monaghan Fine Gael TD says now, more than ever, we need to following the restrictions.

Asked if the public can anticipate a relaxation of restrictions after the May bank holiday weekend, the Minister could not say either way.
“It's too soon to say. So our focus, first and foremost, must remain pushing back against COVID-19 and, the sooner that's achieved, the sooner we can think about life getting back to normal but we need to accept that we are looking at a new normal and it's only a scientific breakthrough, a vaccine or an effective antiviral medicine that's going to allow life to go back to where it was. It could take a number of months or longer,” admitted Minister Humphreys.
She said there is more work to be done in terms of containing the virus before restrictions can be relaxed.
“The current restrictions will remain in place until at least the 5th of May. We may, or may not be able to ease some of the restrictions after that. What we know is that any easing will be gradual and that it will happen over a number of months. It won't be happening overnight. So we have to be realistic about that,” she said.