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Highlights on Off The Ball


'We'd go back to square one' | Luke O'Neill urges immediate Covid caution

Professor Luke O'Neill says if we aren't careful with our pandemic protocols over the coming week...

Professor Luke O'Neill says if we aren't careful with our pandemic protocols over the coming weeks, there is a danger schools could re-open before having to close again.

The professor from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College joined Ger and Eoin on OTB AM earlier, where he also spoke about the specific dangers in attending live sporting events at the moment.

He warned that if we fail as a country to take the next number of weeks and months seriously, we will be right back where we started.

"We'd go back to square one. Imagine if we opened the schools in September and they closed again, that would be a huge tragedy. If there are outbreaks in schools there might be localised shutdowns, like happened in Israel and Melbourne for instance intitially.

"Initially they might do one area locking down, but still, we don't want that, do we?

"Imagine if we re-opened schools, and certain schools around Dublin or whatever had to close again. That would be a nightmare. We've got to keep this steady and avoid those things happening.

"If we keep it steady, try and keep the counts down, keep them right down... then you can in the next few months begin to think about returning back to normal."

Professor O'Neill also spoke about the scenes in Liverpool and Leeds recently, as football fans celebrated Premier League and Championship title wins on the streets in large crowds.

"To quote our friend Tony Holohan, I was beyond nervous. The chance of things spreading there is high, and that's a worry we all have.

Liverpool fans let off flares outside Anfield, Liverpool.

"Alcohol is a big factor because it lowers your capacity for risk, you take more risks if you have a few drinks, that means you break some of the guidelines.

"When I saw those images I said 'Well, that doesn't look great to me.' Remember, it's so contagious. A single case can spread through the community, it went from one case to 14 million for crying out loud.

"It can spread very rapidly and it [the virus] loves that sort of [crowd] setting, so that was a concern.

"Obviously the virus loves crowds, it loves shouting, it loves spreading in that way. If we were to go back to normal, this virus would rub its hands with glee. It's a tough one to try and mitigate against these things.

"Keep the ship steady, we've got the virus on the run basically at this stage in Ireland."

Gillette is inspiring people to be the best versions of themselves – through its partnerships with sports best role models such as Paul O’Connell, they aim to inspire more people to be the best versions of themselves and show they’re made of what matters.

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Eoin Sheahan Ger Gilroy Luke O'Neill Otb Am