Schools 'absolutely on track' to return in September, says acting CMO

Schools 'absolutely on track' to return in September, says acting CMO
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

The Acting Chief Medical Officer, Ronan Glynn, has said the plan for children to return to school in September is "absolutely on track", speaking at National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) briefing.

The latest modelling data shows all key indicators of Covid-19 are now stable or declining, including low intensive care admission rates, and an average of one death every three to five days.

7 new cases of the virus have been confirmed, while 9 more deaths have been recorded, including 8 late notifications from previous months.

Dr Glynn says the recent progress made in the fight against the virus is down to the Irish people.

"Last week, we were uncertain and worried, the week before, we were uncertain and pessimistic.

"This week, we can be uncertain, but optimistic. 

"(People have) taken actions at an individual level, and if anyone is in any doubt, of the effect of their actions, the positive message this evening will show each of us as individuals that what we do each day makes a difference."

The reproductive rate of the virus has decreased in the past week to between 1.0 and 1.4.

It had risen recently to as high as 1.8.

Chair of the Covid-19 modelling advisory group, Professor Phillip Nolan, says the reduction in the rate is 'encouraging'.

"We seem to have reduced transmission of the virus, but it won't stay this way unless we maintain this effort.

"It's strong encouragement to continue those efforts, to interrupt the chains of transmission, and as a consequence bring the reproduction rate down below 1.0, and to see a decline in the number of cases that are being reported, week-on-week."

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