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Health Minister’s statement of hope with stark warning

Health Minister Robin Swann has sounded a cautiously optimitsic note that research indicates the health service would have a realistic prospect of coping in this initial period of the Coronavus crisis if a sufficient proportion of the population adhere to the social distancing and self-isolation measures.

However based on key findings of an expert NI modelling study, the UUP Minister sounded a warning that there are no grounds whatsoever for dropping our guard regarding social disatnchnung and other safety measures.

The NI modelling study will inform intensive hospital planning for the forthcoming surge in Covid-19 cases.

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Mr Swann said, “In summary, the research indicates that our health service would have a realistic prospect of coping in this initial period if a sufficient proportion of the population adhere to the social distancing and self-isolation measures.

“However, it is important that this is considered in context, and I would emphasise that it provides no grounds whatsoever for dropping our guard.

“On the contrary, the projections underline that the continuation of rigorous social distancing will save many lives and protect our health service from collapse.

“Even then, a reasonable worst case scenario would involve significant loss of life In Northern Ireland.

“In addition, the absence of a vaccine means we will have to plan for a potential second wave of Covid-19 cases later in the year.”

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