Taoiseach, Lock Ireland Down

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Dear Taoiseach & Irish Minister of Health,

As representatives of the Italian community in Dublin we are writing to you with a lucid mind but a heavy heart as we see our entire country in lockdown fighting an invisible disease. The lockdown has become necessary as of March 9th, 2020 because our health care public system does not have enough Intensive Care Units (ICU) rooms and ventilators to offer adequate medical assistance to people in need.

Today, March 27th, 2020, the number of deaths in Italy are more than double the number of deaths in China. Our Ministery of Health reports the following numbers: 86498 people in total were infected in Italy since February 21st, 2020. Of those, 66414 remain still infected: 9134 have died, 3732 people are in intensive care (their lives depend on a machine, and they are unable to breathe naturally). This means this virus has affected thousands of Italians, and this only happened a month ago! There is no cure to date, and we do not want this to happen in Ireland, our second home country!

If Italy made any mistakes this was not closing schools, universities and public spaces sooner (pubs, restaurants, shops selling non-essential goods), and so we kindly ask you not to make the same mistake: please close all non-essential businesses now! 

Construction sites are non-essential and it's almost impossible to ensure safety physical distance, why are you not safeguarding them? No groups of people should be allowed to go out. There is currently a worrying shortage of PPE for Irish healthcare workers, and your failure at imposing stricter measures puts your front line workers at risk of contracting the virus. What happens if more doctors and nurses won't be able to cure patients? Right now 23% of your total cases are already coming from that category. What else are you waiting for before locking your country down? Is your economy more important than human lives? 

The impact that coronavirus can have on Ireland can be much worse than what it had on Italy. There are only 237* Intensive Care Units (ICU) & only 4 ECMO** machines, I repeat FOUR ECMO Machine, in the whole of the Republic of Ireland for a population of 4.83M, and your scientists predict than anything between 20% to 80% of the Irish population will catch the virus, now assuming the best-case scenario: if 20% of 4.83M Irish population does get the virus this equals to 966K people infected, of this if only 2% dies we are talking about 19,320 people, but Italy has a mortality rate of >6%, so your numbers would go up to 57,960 deaths. And this is the best-case scenario, let's talk about worst-case scenario now: 80% of the Irish population equals 3.86M people who can get infected, if 2% of these 3.86M dies we are talking about 76,800 human deaths, again we have a mortality rate of 6% so this would most likely be 230,400. Do not let this happen to Ireland! 

This virus does not know any politics or geographies, we are all at risk. Please, help everyone in the country stay safe! ACT NOW & LOCK YOUR COUNTRY DOWN BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! 

Your Italian community in Dublin

*census data from 2016

** data shared by a nurse at Mater Hospital, Dublin 

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