Progress at risk as Covid rates rise, Holohan warns

The Chief Medical Officer has expressed concern at an upturn in Covid-19 case numbers.

Dr Tony Holohan said the numbers of confirmed cases in recent days were higher than what health experts had been anticipating given the positive trends that had previously been recorded since tougher restrictions were introduced.

Dr Holohan warned that progress achieved to suppress the virus was now “at risk” as 456 cases of the virus were reported today, with six additional deaths.

The death toll in the Republic now stands at 1,978, while there have been 67,526 cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began.

As of 2pm on today, 254 coronavirus patients were in hospital, 32 of whom were in intensive care.

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Dr Holohan said the five-day moving average of case numbers had increased from 354 to 392.

“We have seen higher numbers in recent days than we expected based on the encouraging trends of the last three weeks,” he said.

“We are concerned that this progress is at risk. We have to remember that the virus is still very active in the community and we cannot let our guard slip.

“Nphet will continue to monitor the situation closely over the coming days.”

Professor Philip Nolan said Ireland would be recording 1,000 cases a day and 150 deaths a month if Level 3 restrictions had been continued (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Holohan urged people to comply with the well-established infection control measures.

“We all need to focus on what we can do to stop the spread of this disease. Wash our hands regularly, wear a face covering, keep our distance from others, avoid crowds, limit our social network, know the symptoms, self-isolate and contact a GP if we have them,” he said.

Ireland

Covid-19: 456 new cases, six deaths

“Stay at home and restrict our movements if you are a close contact of a confirmed case.”

Earlier, Professor Philip Nolan, defended the imposition of Level 5 restrictions.

Prof Nolan, who chair’s Nphet’s Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said if the country had remained at Level 3 it would currently be facing 1,000 cases a day, resulting in 1,200 hospitalisations and 150 deaths a month.

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