Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health has defended National Public Health Emergency Team's (NPHET) advice to the government not to proceed with Phase 4 of Ireland's lockdown exit.
Dr Glynn said Ireland's priority should be controlling the spread of Covid-19 so schools may reopen.
Ireland’s Acting Chief Medical officer said that it is the “right decision” not to move to the next phase of lockdown easing.
“We have seen a concerning increase in the disease incidence in Ireland over the last seven days,” he said.
“We must ensure we are in the best position possible to manage any further rise in cases that might occur here in Ireland.
“Our priority over the next three weeks is continuing every effort to slow the spread of the virus so our schools can reopen.”
No further deaths with coronavirus were reported in Ireland by NPHET, leaving the national total at 1,763.
However, 45 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been notified, bringing the total number of Irish infections to 26,253.
Dr Glynn warned that a “significant proportion” of new cases are being found in those under the age of 45.
77% of new cases are aged under 45, and 31 cases are associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer also urged anyone concerned that they have coronavirus symptoms to contact their GP.
“This is the only way we will break the chain of transmission,” he said.
The Chief Medic also urged Ireland to stay the course in the face of Covid-19 so as not to jeopardise progress to date.