Public health measures ‘still needed’ by year’s end

Some public health measures will still be in place at the end of the year, Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer has said.

Public health doctors hope 80 per cent of the population will have had one dose of Covid-19 vaccine by the end of June.

However, Dr Ronan Glynn envisaged some precautions to hamper the spread of coronavirus continuing.

He said: “I think there will be some element of public health measures still in place but I would hope that will be an environment which is far closer to what we have understood as normal in 2019 than what we are living in today.”

He said Ireland had one of the strongest levels of vaccine confidence in Europe.

“Hopefully up to 80 per cent of the adult population will have received a dose by the end of June,” he added.

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“Hopefully we are not far away from the point where we can have much less focus on these (social restriction) measures.”

Right direction

Dr Glynn said the positivity rate among those tested was falling and the numbers were coming down.

“We are not where we want to be or where we need to be but we continue to go in the right direction,” he went on.

Another person has died with Covid-19 in Ireland, Nphet said, while a further 687 cases were confirmed.

Dr Glynn said there had been no new admissions to critical care over the past 24 hours in a “tangible” sign of progress.

This was “the first time this has happened since St Stephen’s Day,” he added.

“This is one more tangible signal of the efforts that people continue to make and how those efforts are impacting positively on the trajectory of Covid-19 in Ireland.

“Please stick with this over the coming weeks.”

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