UFC star Conor McGregor has released a second video address pleading the Republic of Ireland to abide by latest Covid-19 preventative measures - and called for Irish president Michael Higgins to "close our airports".
The Irish government tightened restrictions for a minimum two-week period starting last Friday. McGregor, who on Wednesday urged the Irish people to adopt a "full lockdown" and learn from "China and Hong Kong", took a much more assertive tone this time around.
"We have now entered a more substantial lockdown and I am pleased to see it. You see, if you do not enter the game, you cannot win it. We have now entered this game, and with strict adherence to the methods, we will win," said the former UFC double champion.
"To the Irish people: we must abide by the legislation put forth tonight by our leaders. No further than two kilometres from home, no unessential travel, and full closure of non-essential business. Now more than ever we must abide by this. I pray for the health and safety of our country that we do. The fate of our lives and the health of our loved ones depends on it."
As of Sunday afternoon, Ireland has confirmed 2,414 cases of Covid-19 and 36 deaths. The global number is 669,230 cases and 31,122 deaths.
While there have been substantial changes in anti-Covid-19 methods in and around Europe, McGregor felt the Irish government had not done enough in the immigration field. He called on president Higgins to limit all unnecessary travel and use all possible defence forces help its public police, the Gardai Siochana.
"The seizing of public transport and all non-essential business has now taken place and that is just what we need. I applaud, however I'd like an understanding of our airports. Our airports must shut. The only flights to take place is for our essential medical equipment or to bring our medical staff abroad back home to support," McGregor said.
"Tonight our defence forces have been mentioned as a possibility in assisting our 15,000 Gardai available. But only if necessary. However, it is necessary. I urge the government to utilise our defence forces alongside our Gardai Siochana and for full 24-hour patrol.
"This latest lockdown measure has been announced for two weeks. If we do this fully and correctly, in two weeks' time we will have a massive drop in cases and … we will likely need to endure more to gain the ultimate victory," said McGregor, quoting American physicist and pandemic expert Yaneer Bar-Yam.
"To President Higgins, to all of our leaders: Close our airports. Utilise our defence forces. For the nation, abide by these measures impeccably. And prepare for five weeks of it. After that, we are free. Five weeks to freedom. We can do this. The countdown begins now. God speed to us all."
Last week, McGregor donated one million euros (HK$8.6 million) in medical equipment to hospitals around the country. He also posted multiple photos on his Instagram in solidarity with hard-hit European neighbours Italy.
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