INFECTIOUS diseases authority Professor Luke O’Neill and top entrepreneur Cathal Friel are set to host a free fireside chat in Belfast this coming Thursday future trends and government policy in relation to Covid-19 and influenza.
Professor Luke O’Neill is a world-renowned immunologist while Cathal Friel has launched a string of successful start-ups over the past 20 years including publicly-listed Poolbeg Pharma. The pair are inviting the public to join them at the city centre Ten Square Hotel from 12:30pm on 29 September to hear their views on why lockdowns should now cease as the threat from Covid wanes.

"I believe strongly that Covid-19 is over and going forward it needs to be treated like any other outbreak of the common cold or flu, whereby people simply stay at home if they feel sick," said Cathal who stresses that both men are very strongly pro-vaccines. "The reality is that there’s no further need for testing and that there should be absolutely no further lockdowns or restrictions from Covid-19.

The Dublin-based businessman believes it’s very likely we will see a substantial rise in Covid-19 infections again in November/December because those are the months every year when Coronaviruses circulate most widely.

"Likewise, August/September are the months where the common cold viruses peak and furthermore November/December are the months when influenza peaks," explains Friel. "As such, going forward, Covid-19 will peak each winter and everybody, including governments and businesses, need to now deal with it as they do with the common cold and flu outbreaks."

He adds:  "Covid is behind us, however the Covid-19 virus will be with us for many more years and it will peak every November and December because that is when coronaviruses peak, just like every year influenza viruses peak in September and October. Going forward the public, in particular the government and civil servants, need to now treat Covid-19 in the exact same manner as influenza and the common cold.

"As such, anybody who feels they may have caught Covid should not do tests. Personally speaking, I feel Covid lateral flow tests should all be scrapped immediately and if you think you have Covid you should simply do what you would do if you thought you had the flu and that is stay at home. When you feel better, you come back into work.

"Shutdowns with people leaving their offices because one or two people may or may not have caught Covid is destroying businesses and it simply makes no sense anymore to be shutting businesses down because Covid rates may peak again.

"We are 100 per cent pro-vaccines. The vaccines have transformed Covid and anybody vaccinated is almost guaranteed not to get seriously ill or go to hospital.

"Virtually all Covid cases in hospitals in the last 6-10 months are all the people who have either not been vaccinated or have already serious underlying health conditions and therefore the vast majority of the vaccinated population should not worry about Covid any more than they would worry about catching the flu or the common cold."
Professor Luke O’Neill is a world-renowned immunologist and one of the most well-known and trusted voices of Ireland’s Covid-19 pandemic.
Cathal Friel is a co-founder and Chairman of Poolbeg Pharma plc. He is also the co-founder of world-renowned infectious disease clinical trials company, Open Orphan plc and he has had first-hand experience in dealing with Covid-19 over the last two years after running the world’s first Covid-19 human challenge clinical trial.

In human challenge studies a small number of healthy volunteers in a controlled setting 
During the discussion, Poolbeg Pharma plc CEO Jeremy Skillington and CFO Ian O’Connell will also outline the exciting work that Poolbeg has been doing in developing a portfolio of drugs to help protect us all against future pandemics and infectious diseases.

To register for this free event, click here.