Containment of Covid-19 remains priority for NPHET as 50 new cases confirmed in Ireland

Containment of Covid-19 remains priority for NPHET as 50 new cases confirmed in Ireland
50 new cases were confirmed. Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos Dublin

50 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Ireland today by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). 

However, there were no new deaths reported. 

This means since the outbreak began there have been a total of 26,303 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Ireland. 

The death toll remains the same after today's latest figures with the number of Covid-19 related deaths unchanged at 1,763. 

In Northern Ireland, 10 more positive cases of coronavirus have been detected, the Department of Health said. 

The total number of people who have been infected is now 6,006. 

No new deaths were recorded in the North, leaving the total in the region at 556, according to official figures.

Speaking today after the government's decision not to proceed with Phase Four of the lockdown exit on the basis of public health advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer from the Department of Health said the priority of Ireland's response to Covid-19 must remain containing the spread of the virus. 

Dr Glynn said: "I know the decision yesterday not to move to Phase Four will have been disappointing for many. 

"However, NPHET’s priority must be to control the spread of this virus in our communities and to protect the progress that we have achieved to date.

Covid-19 is an extremely contagious virus and we have seen a significant increase in its spread across multiple counties over recent days. We are monitoring this very closely.

"Our focus over the coming weeks will be on continuing every effort to slow the spread of the virus so that our schools can reopen, our healthcare services resume, and our nursing homes are protected."

A further break down of the latest figures shows: 

  • 31 are men / 19 are women
  • 81% are under 45 years of age 
  • 42 cases are associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case 
  • 4 cases have been identified as community transmission 
  • 11 cases are located in Wexford, 10 in Kildare, 6 in Dublin, 5 in Donegal, and 18 are spread across nine other counties

The nine other counties with coronavirus cases reported are Carlow, Cork, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Sligo, Tipperary and Wicklow. 

The latest figures follow the government's decision not to continue with Ireland's progression from lockdown into Phase 4. 

This is the second time the government has delayed the decision meaning so-called 'wet pubs' that do not serve food must stay closed. 

Attendance at indoor events such as weddings remains capped at 50 people while outdoor attendance at sporting events like GAA matches remains limited to 200 people. 

Mandatory wearing of facemasks for indoor retail settings like shopping centres will also  come into effect from next Monday similar to regulations already in place for public transport. 

Speaking earlier today, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly did not foresee Gardaí enforcing this measure as according to the Minister the vast majority of the public are already wearing facemasks.

Meanwhile, the Oireachtas Covid-19 committee has warned that a second lockdown would be "unsustainable". 

Chairman of the Committee and Independent Clare TD, Michael McNamara, said Ireland also needs to improve it's testing and tracing system for suspected cases. 

Mr McNamara said: “Because of the efforts of all our people, those measures were not needed, but what became clear to the committee is that another lockdown would be unsustainable.

“Testing and contact tracing will allow the State to live with and treat outbreaks of Covid-19 as they arise.”

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