The Executive Director of the World Health Organization's Emergencies Programme has said he has never seen the scale of threats and abuse against health staff and others as he has experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a University College Cork School of Public Health webinar, Dr Mike Ryan said public discourse on social media was often very abusive and fed by disinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines.
Dr Ryan said he had worked in some of the most challenging places in the world but nothing prepared him for the attacks from some quarters seen during the pandemic.
He added that he had never been more personally afraid at times. He said many people experienced threats and abuse in their work during the pandemic and he said the idea that you can walk up to someone and attack them and walk away is not acceptable.